Projectile Labs in AP Physics
AP Physics with Calculus/UConn ECE Physics students recently completed a spring gun lab. First, students set up the lab to shoot vertically to measure the maximum height and then calculate the velocity of the spring. Before shooting horizontally, students calculate the “theoretical horizontal distance” given the initial horizontal velocity and the height the projectile is shot from. Then they shoot the projectile horizontally, measure the distance travelled by the projectile, and compare this distance with the calculated one. Finally, the students write a lab report detailing how well the experiment agrees with the theory and any errors encountered during the experiment.
Students in Mr. Balantic’s AP Physics class recently performed a rocket projectile lab to measure the time it takes the rocket to reach its maximum height out on the DHHS turf. The rockets were first launched vertically to calculate velocity. Students then used this data to calculate the theoretical horizontal distance (range), as well as time in the air of the rocket for the rockets launched at a given angle. The rockets were then launched at an angle and students were able to compare their theoretical calculations with actual results.