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bonanova

Paths of objects in free fall

Question

If the effects of air resistance could be removed, what would be the shape of the trajectory of an object (say a football or a bullet fired into the air) in free fall under the influence of Earth's gravity?

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just a wild guess without using much math or science..

Spoiler

I think it would be the same as if there was air resistance, just greater distances..air resistance will slow down objects a lot sooner than the object running out of energy put into it. But you will still have the effects of gravity gradually pulling down on it..however, now if you were to throw an object nearly straight up, after it loses all it's energy, wouldn't it just fall nearly straight down?..interesting..

to me it seems it would depend on the starting trajectory of the object..maybe the sharper the upward angle is, the sharper the downward angle will be..(just my thoughts)

 

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On 2/11/2016 at 5:01 AM, bonanova said:

If the effects of air resistance could be removed, what would be the shape of the trajectory of an object (say a football or a bullet fired into the air) in free fall under the influence of Earth's gravity?

As there is no air resistance, the object may not follow parabolic path. Instead, as the object progress, the velocity with which it can travel reduces because of gravitational pull. After the velocity of the object becomes less than the gravitational force, it falls freely to the earth.

 

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Edited by Balaji

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It's one of the conic sections: circle, ellipse, parabola, hyperbola. Consider the angle arbitrary, like a pitcher throwing a baseball or a quarterback throwing a touchdown pass.

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Since there seem to be no Freshman physics students out there, I'll put this one to rest. Actually the answer is that "it is one of the conic sections: circle, ellipse, parabola, hyperbola." Each of the four cases is possible, depending on the initial position and velocity.

Follow-on: what are those conditions?

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