A Projectile Spreadsheet
Since the kinematics
spreadsheet handles free fall problems with ease, it is very easy
to modify it to handle projectile motion. Here's how:
- Since you are going to have both horizontal and vertical
motions in the spreadsheet, it is worthwhile to change some column
- Change cell B6 to "y vel (m/s).
- Change cell D6 to "y (m)".
- In cell B7, change the starting vertical velocity to
- In cell E6, type the column heading for the horizontal
velocity, "x vel (m/s)".
- In cell E7, type the value of the horizontal velocity,
- Since the horizontal velocity is constant, the value of cells
E7 through E32 equals the value of cell E7. Therefore the formula
for cell E8 is "=E7".
- Highlight cells E8 through E32 and use "Fill Down" from the
Calculate menu to copy the horizontal velocity value through the
rest of the column.
- In cell F6, type the column heading for the horizontal
position, "x (m)".
- In cell F7, type the value of the starting horizontal
- The horizontal distance moved by the projectile equals its
(constant) velocity times the elapsed time. The formula for cell
F8, therefore, is "=$F$7+E8*(A8-$A$7)".
- Use "Fill Down to copy this formula to cells F9 through
It is easy to build an "enhanced"
version of this spreadsheet. Here are some
examples of using this spreadsheet to solve numerical problems
last update September 16, 2000 by JL