# Tagged Questions

Object moving through space due to the exertion of a force.

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### Why do archery arrows tilt downwards in their descent?

In the movies, arrows shot into the air rotate so that during the descent, the arrow head hits ground first. What is the source of this angular momentum? It would seem that the bow string exerts a ...
57k views

### Could someone jump from the international space station and live?

Felix Baumgartner just completed his breathtaking free-fall skydiving jump from $120,000\,\text{feet} = 39\,\text{km}$ above the Earth, breaking the speed of sound during the process. I was wondering ...
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### Supergun Launching of Satellites

I should say first that I don't believe this is a feasible launch method, otherwise NASA and other space agencies would be using it by now. It's based on this BBC news story Saddam Hussein's Supergun ...
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### What are the precise statements by Shouryya Ray of particle dynamics problems posed by Newton which this news article claims have been solved?

This recent news article (here is the original, in German) says that Shouryya Ray, who moved to Germany from India with his family at the age of 12, has baffled scientists and mathematicians by ...
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### If I toss a coin, vertically, on the surface of Mars, will it land back in my hand?

When I toss a coin in Mars, is the planets atmosphere rare enough that I'd rotate with the planet (at its angular velocity), but not the coin?
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### Is this scene from the A Team explainable by Physics?

This scene (youtube link) from the movie The A-team, the four members are in the tank and its falling from the air, they fire the canon and it slows the tank from falling for a moment before falling ...
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### What does an undefined formula in physics mean?

I am trying to figure out how undefined formulas in mathematics relates to physics. Take the following formula for terminal velocity. $$V_\text{terminal} = \sqrt{ mg \over{c \rho A}}$$ Say we have ...
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### Flat throw vs 45 degree throw of a ball

Why does my sports coach tell me that when I'm fielding I should throw the baseball 'flat' to get the maximum distance? I thought from physics that you get the most distance from throwing at a 45 ...
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### Throwing a ball upwards in an accelerating train

If I throw a ball upwards to a certain height in an accelerating train, will it end up in my hand? At the moment I release the ball, it will have a velocity equal to that of the train at that instant. ...
2k views

### Throwing a Football. Is it truly parabolic?

Driving into work, I started thinking about the arc of something being thrown and was puzzled about how gravity's affect is squared per second for falling bodies. Intuitively that implies the shape ...
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### Why is the splash of water always vertical, no matter in which angle the gunfire hits the surface

When gunfire hits the surface of a pond, the water seems to always splash directly upwards, in 90° to the surface of the water, no matter at which angle the gun is fired. The angle is usually very ...
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### How does humidity affect the path of a bullet?

Background Last night, I was reading the FM 23-10 (The U.S. army official field manual for sniper training), and I've noticed that they're potentially teaching snipers incorrect information. ...
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### What causes a soccer ball to follow a curved path?

Soccer players kick the ball in a linear kick, though you find it to turn sideways, not even in one direction. Just mid air it changes that curve's direction. Any physical explanation? Maybe this ...
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### Why does tossing a coin in a train and on a train differ?

Suppose that I am inside of a moving train. I have a coin in my hand and I am standing still. If I toss this coin straight up, it will fall back into my hand. Now, suppose that I am on that moving ...
3k views

### Put a bullet into orbit around the moon

While I was watching this beautiful video, the absence of air friction pushed me to ask myself: While standing on the surface of the moon, what is the initial velocity by which you can fire a bullet ...
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### Will a bullet dropped and a bullet fired from a gun horizontally REALLY hit the ground at the same time when air drag is taken into account?

In a world without air, I understand they definitely would. However, with drag taken into account, I think they wouldn't. Since the drag force varies proportional to the square of speed (ignoring the ...
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### Is running in a zigzag helpful in avoiding being shot by an arrow? [closed]

Two people A and B start at a certain point. B runs away from A to another point. A shoots arrows at B. Is it helpful for A to run in a zigzag rather than in a constant direction? To be more ...
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### What is the maximum efficiency of a trebuchet?

Using purely gravitational potential energy, what is the highest efficiency one can achieve with a trebuchet counter-weight type of machine? Efficiency defined here as transformation of potential ...
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I have come across a question that asked me to find the radius of curvature of a projectile. As far as I know, the path of a projectile is a parabola and I have found mention of the radius of ...
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### Intuitive meaning of factor 2 in formula of vertical throw max height $h=v^2/2g$

This is a question about a simple thing. The simplified expression for maximum height in vertical throw is $h=\frac{v^2}{2g}$ , could anyone explain intuitively (analogies are welcome) why there is a ...
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### One strategy in a snowball fight

Here's a common college physics problem: One strategy in a snowball fight is to throw a first snowball at a high angle over level ground. While your opponent is watching the first one, you ...
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### Find the minimum value of velocity [closed]

Find the minimum value of the initial velocity $u$ of the particle such that the particle crosses the wheel of radius $R$. Details and assumptions $R=2m$ $g=9.8m/s^2$ Neglect air resistance. All ...
3k views

### Ball thrown from a moving train

This is not a question about throwing a ball vertically in a moving train. I am asking what would happen if I throw a ball in a horizontally in a moving train. Assume I am facing an exit door of a ...
2k views

### What happens when the spacecraft velocity equals the velocity at it's exhaust?

So there I was resting me eyes thinking about rocket drives, and what-not. The thought struck me that, perhaps, even before Mr. Einstein interferes with the increasing velocity of the spacecraft Mr. ...
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### Why does a small object stay in one place after being shot from a big gun?

This video shows what I mean. Basically they shoot a bullet from a huge gun at an iPhone. What I don't get is why does the phone move only so little after being shot? As far as I can tell it isn't ...
6k views

### Can a bullet shot through a glass make a clean hole?

One can often see (hopefully only in the movies) that a bullet shot through a pane of window glass leaves a hole in it, but overall the glass is left largely intact. However, a low-speed projectile, e....
2k views

### How much does the Earth's rotation affect a golf ball?

When launching rockets into space, they start straight but begin to lean, I assume due to the Earth's rotation. For something on a much smaller scale, such as a golf tee, is there a measurable ...
2k views

### A Basic Question about Gravity, Inertia or Momentum or something along those lines

Why is it that if I'm sitting on a seat on a bus or train and its moving quite fast, I am able to throw something in the air and easily catch it? Why is it that I haven't moved 'past' the thing during ...
841 views

### In which direction does a wall exert the reaction force if it is hit diagonally?

I am confused about action-reaction forces and inertia of moving objects. As an example, take a cricket ball a bowler throws to the pitch: Suppose the ball is about to drop in the pitch with ...
779 views

### Is there an intuitive explanation for the Southward force caused by the Coriolis Effect on rotating spheres?

From the Coriolis Effect article on Wikipedia, the following with regard to the Coriolis Effect on a rotating sphere: By setting vn = 0, it can be seen immediately that (for positive φ and ω) a ...
7k views

### Why does a bullet bounce off water?

It is known that bullets can ricochet off a body of water. Is surface tension responsible for this or is this the same behavior we see when an asteroid ricochets off the atmosphere? I don't think ...
3k views

### Including air resistance, what is the escape velocity from Earth?

Including air resistance, what is the escape velocity from the surface of the earth for a free-flying trajectile?
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### How does an object's motion behave if dropped from an aeroplane travelling diagonally upwards?

Imagine an aeroplane travelling with velocity $v$ at some angle $\alpha$ from East to North. A box is dropped from the aeroplane. What would the projectile of the box be? Would it be a parabola with ...
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### Terminal velocity after vertical launch

If an object is launched directly up at its terminal velocity, will it have enough time/energy to reach its terminal velocity again before it hits the ground, or will drag prevent this? In this case, ...
15k views

### How does gravity affect bullets?

I read recently that if you hold a bullet in one hand and a pistol in the other, both hands at the same height, and subsequently fired the pistol at the same time as dropping the bullet, both bullets ...
2k views

### Does gravity slow down a horizontally thrown baseball?

I have a simple question: Does gravity slow down a horizontally thrown baseball? Assuming when a baseball is thrown it has a vertical velocity as well, does it slow does the ball? Any help is much ...
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### how does a sniper scope work?

How does a sniper rifle scope enables us to pinpoint the exact location even though the lens in situated 5-6 inches above the muzzle. The bullet leaves the muzzle and hits the target exactly where the ...
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### Calculating how fast a mass needs to travel in order to launch itself from a hill

Today I was driving on a hill side and on the opposite lane this very careless gentleman was traveling at a very high speed on a large truck that I surely thought his truck would of lifted off the ...
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### Does $y$-motion really have nothing to do with $x$-motion?

I am watching a Physics 1 for physical science majors on coursera.com, and in one of the concept tests there is a question that goes like this; "A bullet is fired horizontally from a rifle on the Moon ...
3k views

### Finding optimal angle for projectile, taking into account linear (Stokes) drag

If you throw a projectile from the ground at a certain angle, it's not hard to see that, assuming we're in a vacuum, throwing it at 45º from the ground will always make it go farthest before it hits ...
709 views

### What was the muzzle velocity of a homemade gun launched straight up if air time was 8.2sec?

I built a potato gun and wanted to calculate the muzzle velocity. I remember from physics that I could run the numbers by calculating time from launch until landing. After pointing straight into the ...
649 views

### Velocity of Object from electromagnetic field

I am wondering if someone could provide me with a formula that would tell me at what velocity a projectile can be launched from something using an electromagnetic field. The idea is much like a rail ...
126 views

### How can we theoretically calculate the number of balloons needed to stop a bullet?

After watching this video, I am interested in proving it mathematically. The problem is that how can we apply the conservation of momentum here to find the velocity of the bullet while we don't know ...
3k views

### In tennis, why does topspin serve bounce higher than flat serve?

When receiving servers (while playing tennis), I've noticed that the tennis ball seems to bounce up higher on me when the server uses a topspin serve than when the server hits a flat serve. Why is ...
118 views

### Can different guns make the same ammo more effective at penetration? [closed]

I was watching an episode of Law & Order in which someone was shot with a TEC-9. The ballistics expert said "TEC-9...unsurpassed for penetrating steel doors". I have never even handled a real gun ...
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### Why does it take a projectile as long to get to its apex as it does to hit the ground?

I was once asked the following question by a student I was tutoring; and I was stumped by it: When one throws a stone why does it take the same amount of time for a stone to rise to its peak and then ...
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### The angle of launching an Angry Bird that will land the bird furthest from the launching point is 45 degrees?

This is a question motivated by Angry Birds. When playing the game, I notice that if the initial velocity is constant, the way to land a bird furthest away from the launching point is by launching ...
541 views

### Dodging paintballs

I was recently watching The Matrix, and was considering the speed at which one needs to move to literally dodge a projectile. Now, in real life, it is impossible to dodge bullets as such a feat would ...