Alex J.

asked • 12/02/21

Tricky projectile physics problem

A newspaper delivery boy throws a newspaper onto a balcony 1.25 m above the height of his hand when he releases the paper. Given that he throws the paper with a speed of 12.5 m/s and an angle of 53° above horizontal and the paper lands on the way down find:

(a)   the maximum height of the paper’s trajectory

(b)   the vertical and horizontal velocity at maximum height

(c)   the acceleration at maximum height

(d)   the time it takes for the paper to reach the balcony

(e)   the horizontal range of the paper

Grigoriy S.

It was hard to fit this problem in 20 000 symbols. So I am putting here some of comments. Please understand that the body is in a parabolic motion. We select x-axis and y-axis arbitrary. It means that components of velocity (vector) and free fall acceleration (vector) could be positive, negative or zero. Part (b) asked for horizontal and vertical velocity. This is wrong! Velocity at this point is tangent to the curve and has horizontal direction. But we describe the velocity by two its components - x-component and y-component. In part (d) quadratic equation has 2 positive solutions, but we take the bigger number, because the paper was already on the way down. For problems like this we usually take the value of g = 10 units to simplify solution of quadratic equation. Hope my explanation will clarify the "tricky problem".


1 Expert Answer


Alex J.

Hi there, Sorry I just have another quick question: What is the direction equivalent to – [40° W of S]? a) [40° E of S] b) [40° W of N] c) [40° E of N] d) [50° S of W] e) [50° E of N]


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