Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vectors and Projectile Motion

REFLECTION: Vectors and Projectile Motion

This is what I learned about Vectors. Trigonometry is a very important part when it comes to vectors. I learned about SOH CAH TOA, and how to apply them in physics problems. I learned that the triangle must be a right triangle in order to apply SOH, CAH, or TOA. I also learned that θ is the angle at point A, as shown in the figure. O stands for opposite, A stands for adjacent, and H stands for hypotenuse. Depending on the information given, I learned to apply SOH CAH TOA to find the missing side. I also learned about vector components. I learned that a force on the y-axis and a force on the x-axis, creates a resultant force. This resultant force can be at any of the 360 angles, and in any of the four quadrants on a coordinate plane. Another part of vectors that I learned is vector addition. I learned that the resultant is found by the Pythagorean theorem, and the direction, otherwise known as θ is found by tan^-1(|b|/|a|). Also, I learned vector addition through the component method. You find the x component and the y component then you use the Pythagorean theorem to find the resultant and the same formula above to find theta, except instead of b you use the y component and instead of a you use the x component. Vectors are very interesting, and that is all that I learned about them!

This is what I learned about Projectile Motion. Projectile Motion was also very interesting. I learned that horizontal motion is always constant and vertical motion is changing due to gravity. The resultant velocity is also found by the Pythagorean theorem just like the resultant force in vectors. I also learned that the formulas we have been using before we learned Projectile Motion can be altered to find the answer to equations. first, we learned horizontal projection, and how to find missing data in equations having to do with horizontal. 
I also learned Projectile Motion at an angle. This is a little bit more complicated, but I feel like I mastered this greatly. I learned how to find the x and y components, the horizontal and vertical components of its velocityposition, and the horizontal and vertical components of its . The Pythagorean theorem is also applied to find the find the final position and velocity. Though it requires a very thorough thought process, I learned how to find the range, the highest point in its trajectory, the total time in the air, and much more about the data of an object in projectile motion at an angle. Projectile was very interesting and I greatly enjoyed it!

I found that it was difficult to know when to use the component method, or the regular addition method. I can not tell exactly when to use each. I have an idea, but I am not completely sure...HELP ME MRS. GENDE!!!!!!!!

Mrs. Gende has greatly enriched my problem-solving skills. The way the problems are set up have been very thought provoking and have made me understand math and physics way better! I believe that when it comes to the actual math of an equation, I am perfect with my calculations. I just have trouble setting up the equation, and knowing when to do certain ways to solve it. Other than that, my problem-solving skills are GREAT!!!

I am a very big outdoorsman and I love to hunt with a bow and arrow. Now that I learned how the two forces of the limbs and the string make the resultant force project the arrow, I can understand how such great speeds are created when I shoot. It is really interesting to know that there is a great amount of physics behind something that I do on a daily basis. Really interesting!!!


  1. Ford, you did a phenomenal job with your reflection, you covered every single aspect in detail and you identify areas that might be confusing.
    In terms of vector addition, this is an easy rule:
    1. If vectors are in same or opposite directions (right, right or right, left) just add or subtract.
    2. If vectors are at right angles: use Pythagorean.
    3. If vectors are at different angles OR you have more than 2 vectors at different angles, just apply the component method.
    Would love to see your images! They appear as 'broken'. Please be sure that they work.
    Great job!!