Year 12 Mechanics Projectile Motion Experiment 2:

**Projectile motion exp 1**
**Projectile motion exp 2**
**Projectile motion exp 3**
Find muzzle velocity by firing vertically
Find the muzzle velocity by shooting horizontally
- determine time of flight
- determine muzzle velocity
Find the position the projectile will land, by firing at an angle to the horizontal
- resolve x and y components of velocity
- determine time of flight
- determine horizontal distance.


  • The purpose of this experiment is to calculate the initial velocity (muzzle velocity) of the ball by firing the cannon horizontally.

NOTE: it is recommended that you do experiment 1 first (as their are less calculations)


  • Projectile launcher (ME-6801)
  • Stopwatch
  • 1m rulers
  • Bench
  • clamp (can be useful)
  • photo gates (use only for verification as they take a lot of the learning away)


In this case, shooting the ball horizontally is the same as dropping the ball, in terms of the time to hit the ground (see Simultaneous fall demo), so vy =0ms^-1



Pitfalls / causes of error

  • The cannon MUST be perfectly horizontal (use plumb bob to check)
  • Generally very accurate (This can also be verified using photo gates)


Model data:

  • For one click using the above projectile launcher gave muzzle velocity of 4.21 ms-1.
  • 2 clicks gave a muzzle velocity (plastic balls) of 7.31 ms-1

References / other comments: