Gravity never sleeps

Students initial struggle with projectile motion comes from not intuitively realizing that once a force has projected an object that force is no longer contributing to its motion and thus gravity is the only force acting on it: hence the parabolic path in the event of no resisting forces.

I find it pays to refer to the first law as " things like to stay as they are- so when you kick something into motion it will keep going in that direction forever if no other forces act on it. This is where " gravity never goes to sleep " comes in.

Once they accept this concept, I find they have little trouble in using trig to break the initial motion into its vertical and horizontal components.


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