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IB Physics HL Lab Report on Projectiles

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IB Physics HL Lab Report on Projectiles


To find the optimal launching degree for projectiles.


To prove that 45 degrees is the optimum angle for ballistic, we are going to calculate, measure and compare the distance travelled for 30 degrees, 45 degrees and 60 degrees.

Please take note that the mathematical demonstration of 45 degrees as the optimum is included in annex.


Horizontal Distance (in meters)







<Fig 1.1 Mathematical Trigonometry Results>

   Accordingly, from

...read more.



Horizontal Distance (in meters)







<Fig1.2 Actual Projectile Results>

Even if the actual measured results differ sensibly from the hypothetical values, we can clearly see that an inclination of 45 degrees generates a much longer distance travelled horizontally.

During our experiment, water pressure was not constant and there could have been some fluctuations due to wind variation. Those uncertainties must be taken into consideration.

Conclusion and Evaluation

Our mathematical proof and hypothesis were right that in parabolic motion, 45 degrees offers the greatest horizontal distance travelled.

...read more.


Additionally, we think that the wind factor should be considered, as the experiment was taking place outdoors. It may have affected the values in a considerable way.

  Some suggestions to improve the investigation may include carrying the experiment indoors as the results would not be affected by frontal and lateral wind interferences.

  It may also be sensible to find a source of water spray with a constant velocity. A canister of pressured water, or a projectile powered by a compressed gas would have a more constant velocity.

The values registered might also be more accurate if we used a CCD camera to capture the trajectory of a small ball such as a bead.

...read more.

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