Q:

# What causes projectile motion ?

A:

Projectile motion is caused by gravity's effect on the path of any object that is launched or thrown, according to HowStuffWorks. Projectile motion has both horizontal and vertical components. The horizontal component is due to the velocity of the object, while the vertical component is due to the force of gravity.

## Keep Learning

Most projectile-motion problems ignore air resistance on the object. Under this assumption the only force acting on the object is that of gravity once it leaves the hand of the thrower. Inertia continues to carry it at the same velocity horizontally until it hits the ground. However, the force of gravity acting on the object causes it to create a parabolic curve. If a football player throws a pass with an upward motion, the vertical component of the pass slows due to gravity until it reaches zero, and then the ball starts to accelerate as it begins its descent to the ground.

Objects that begin their journey horizontal with the ground also follow a parabolic curve; however, the curve has no upward component, so the curve is one-half of a parabola cut at its vertex. The time for gravity to pull the object to the ground is the same as if someone drops it from the same height. If it has an upward component, the time until it hits the ground is the same as if one throws it upward to the height where it reversed its acceleration.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A: A basketball bounces because gravity acts upon the ball creating motion or kinetic energy inside it. When the ball hits the ground, the kinetic energy is d... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: The two main concepts to understand in order to solve projectile motion problems are that projectiles in flight constantly accelerate downward due to gravi... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: The force of gravity is the only force that keeps a standard hanging pendulum in motion. It is both the force that increases the speed of the pendulum on i... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: Some of Sir Isaac Newton's achievements include defining the law of gravity and the three laws of motion, inventing the reflecting telescope, defining theo... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
PEOPLE SEARCH FOR