Projectile Motion Experiment - EX-5502



In this experiment designed for use with PASCO Capstone software, students use a projectile launcher to better understand the kinematics and dynamics of projectile motion. Since measurements for these experiments involve single point measurements of time or velocity, the Smart Timer is the ideal timing instrument.

Muzzle Velocity vs. Time of Flight:
Students fire the projectile at three different velocities from the same height. The Photogate and Time of Flight Accessory are used to measure the time of flight at each muzzle velocity. Students are surprised to find that time of flight is not related to muzzle velocity at 0° launch angle.

Angle vs. Horizontal Range:
The angle of launch is varied and the horizontal range measured for each angle. Students produce a graph of angle vs. horizontal range. The angle of maximum range can then be found. This experiment is conducted for two cases:

  • Projectile is fired from a higher vertical position than its landing position
  • Projectile is fired from the same vertical position as its landing position

Students are also asked to use the kinematics equations to predict the horizontal range given a launch angle and muzzle velocity. Carbon paper and a bulls-eye can then be used to test their hypothesis.

PASCO Advantage:
PASCO projectile launchers are designed for repeatable and accurate launches. In addition, photogates and other accessories are designed to work seamlessly with our projectile launchers. These features allow student predictions and calculations from the kinematics equations to be empirically verified.

Students can use their data to determine which launch angle produces the maximum horizontal range.

Buying Guide


Interface Required

This product requires an 850 Universal Interface for use.

Have specific questions or need more information about the 850? Contact Teacher and Technical Support.  We're here to help!

Software Required

This product requires or recommends PASCO Capstone for data collection and analysis.