Projectile launched at an angle

For any projectile launched at an angle, you will realize that the projectile will have not only an initial horizontal velocity, but also an initial vertical velocity.

For, example, let's say that you launch the same cannonball we use in this lesson at an angle this time.

Once the cannonball is in the air, let us see how this will affect the vertical speed and the horizontal speed.

First, let us talk about the horizontal speed.

Projectile launched at an angle

Good news! Whether the projectile is launched horizontally or at an angle, there is still no horizontal force acting on the cannonball . And again with no horizontal force, there is no horizontal acceleration. And with no horizontal acceleration, the cannonball will once gain move horizontally with constant velocity.

horizontal speed of a cannonball launched at an angle

Now, what about the vertical speed? When an object is thrown straight up into the air, little by little the speed will decrease until the speed is zero. Gravity will keep decreasing the speed. Then, the object will go down with increasing speed. Gravity will keep increasing the speed. 

Vertical speed of a projectile launched at an angle

Let us put together the vertical and horizontal movement/speed of the cannonball to see what we will get. See below the horizontal speed, the vertical speed, and the resultant speed in brown. Once again, you can see that the ball move along the orange curve which is a parabola. The vectors shown in brown are tangent to the orange curve or parabola.

Trajectory of a projectile launched at an angle

Quiz about projectile launched at an angle

This quiz about projectile launched at an angle will help you see how the velocity and acceleration behave when the projectile is launched at an angle. You will not need to use a paper and pencil to complete this quiz. 

First, read this lesson about projectile launched at an angle carefully and then take this quiz.

Objective of the quiz

  • See how the vertical velocity and the vertical acceleration behaves.
  • Understand how gravity affects the speed of an object on the way up and on the way down
  • See how the horizontal velocity and the horizontal acceleration behave

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