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Equipment provided for the experiment

Launcher set-up on the desk

Mini launcher is ready to fire....

...and we have lift off!

...and we have lift off!

Projectile Motion

In this session you will have:

Investigated the simple laws of motion

Planned and carried out a straightforward experiment as a small team

Recorded your experimental observations

Analysed sources of error in an experiment

Calculated the mean, standard deviation and standard error in a series of measurements

Been made aware of Health and Safety Considerations


Classical mechanics lies at the heart of physics. You will have met Newton's laws and the resulting equations of motion in your previous studies of physics and will revisit them in the Foundations of Physics lecture course on Classical Mechanics. Here we use a simple projectile launcher as shown in Figure 1 to investigate the motion of a particle in two dimensions under constant acceleration.


Fig 1. A projectile in flight.


However, experimental physics is about much more than just making a measurement; the resulting value is not of much use without an estimate of how precisely the measurement has been made. In this experiment we also introduce you to some simple ideas about how to go about quantifying the uncertainties in the measurements you make.


In performing this experiment, you will be working in small teams, normally three or four students. One of the tasks in the lab will be for you yourselves to manage how you go about performing and analysing your experimental results.


The script for this experiment can be found in the lab script book or on DUO.