0
$\begingroup$

Apologies if this seems like a stupidly obvious question.

Let's say that I model the trajectory of a projectile launched at some angle from the horizontal using a numerical approach which factors in all relevant forces (gravity and drag etc).

I have a list of data pertaining to the horizontal and vertical components of the displacement and velocity for some appropriate time step.

Now my question is, if I wanted to find out the direction (specifically the angle from the horizontal) that the projectile is going in (within the x-y plane) at any point in its flight, I would simply use trig like so?

$$\tan(\theta) = \frac{Vy}{Vx} $$

Where $Vx$ and $Vy$ are the horizontal and vertical velocities respectively for the instance of time that I was interested in - assuming I didn't care about interpolating the data for some instance of t that I did not have data for exactly.

E.g. if the projectile was moving 300 units in the Y direction and 50 units in the X direction at some time t, then it would be travelling approximately 80 degrees from the horizontal at t, right?

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Yes. You are right.

In principle you would write

$$\tan(\theta)=\frac{\Delta y}{\Delta x}=\frac{\Delta y/\Delta t}{\Delta x/\Delta t}=\frac{V_y}{V_x}$$

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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