Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am working on a project involving a simulation of the motion of a projectile (in 3D) aimed at a moving target. The way projectile motion is analyzed in most introductory physics books is not accurate enough for this project. I would like to know what other influences on the motion of a projectile, including air resistance and spin, I need to take into account. What is a good book on this subject?

share|cite|improve this question

Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please write substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book, paper or other resource. Explain the nature of the resource so that readers can decide which one is best suited for them rather than relying on the opinions of others. Answers containing only a reference to a book or paper will be removed!

As a book recommendation I think this is already covered by the linked question, which lists suggested books on Newtonian physics. – David Z Oct 18 '11 at 17:58
@David: this is about video game physics, the motion of general rigid bodies with friction, and it isn't covered in classical mechanics books. – Ron Maimon Oct 18 '11 at 23:51
I figured that instead of saying the question needed to be edited, I might as well go ahead and edit it. I did make a pretty significant change, so Creative, please look over this and see if it matches what you wanted to ask. If not, go ahead and change it so that it does. – David Z Oct 19 '11 at 2:16

If you have time to read a book, I strongly recommend Richard Feynman Lecture on Physics:

It is everything you want from a book:

  • fun to read
  • never boring
  • it will change the way you see the world
  • everyone can read it

In your case, I would focus on the first volume, Mechanics I, particularly from chapter 8.

share|cite|improve this answer
Feynman doesn't cover general rigid bodies, beyong remarking that you need a tensor of inertia. – Ron Maimon Oct 18 '11 at 23:53
@Ron, Ok got it. But the other textbooks I have about this are in french. I also have the "Classical mechanics" from Goldstein, but it might be not very introductory... – Jean-Yves Oct 19 '11 at 18:53

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.