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# GCSE Physics coursework - How far a ski jumper travels in the air watch

1. How do you explain how to Angle of the runway for a ski jumper will affect the travel distance in the air using scientific ideas such as gravitational potential energy and terminal velocity?
2. Hello,

Simply said, the distance travelled horizontally peaks when the angle of launch is 45 degrees. Without going into many equations (which are probably optional) one can say that in order to maximise the horizontal travel distance, both the initial horizontal velocity and the time of flight. The horizontal velocity peaks at 0 degrees (as cos(0) = 1) and the time of flight peaks at 90 degrees (as sin(90) = 1); however when you do the maths, it turns out that in order for their product (the distance) to be at its optimal value, the ideal angle is 45 degrees as it produces a velocity and time that when multiplied together, return the greatest result.

As for GPE, you can say that the angle does not change the total initial velocity at the launch point, provided the drop height remains constant. In all honesty, I don't quite know how to relate it to the travel distance as GPE is a vertical concept; although one could say that a lower launch angle decreases how much KE is converted back into GPE and therefore a greater velocity is maintained. As for terminal velocity, one could say that air resistance can reduce both horizontal and vertical components to a certain degree.

If you did not understand anything that I have written (I merely touched on parts of this), please just ask, as I know a lot of schools tend to do the coursework before students have sufficient knowledge to complete some parts.
3. (Original post by Smithenator5000)
Hello,

Simply said, the distance travelled horizontally peaks when the angle of launch is 45 degrees. Without going into many equations (which are probably optional) one can say that in order to maximise the horizontal travel distance, both the initial horizontal velocity and the time of flight. The horizontal velocity peaks at 0 degrees (as cos(0) = 1) and the time of flight peaks at 90 degrees (as sin(0)); however when you do the maths, it turns out that in order for their product (the distance) to be at its optimal value, the ideal angle is 45 degrees as it produces a velocity and time that when multiplied together, return the greatest result.

As for GPE, you can say that the angle does not change the total initial velocity at the launch point, provided the drop height remains constant. In all honesty, I don't quite know how to relate it to the travel distance as GPE is a vertical concept; although one could say that a lower launch angle decreases how much KE is converted back into GPE and therefore a greater velocity is maintained. As for terminal velocity, one could say that air resistance can reduce both horizontal and vertical components to a certain degree.

If you did not understand anything that I have written (I merely touched on parts of this), please just ask, as I know a lot of schools tend to do the coursework before students have sufficient knowledge to complete some parts.
No, I understand !! Thank you so much !!! x
4. (Original post by Britster.for)
No, I understand !! Thank you so much !!! x
You're welcome. Sorry, but there was a small error which has been corrected now: sin(90) = 1.

By the way, which board and syllabus do your school use?
5. (Original post by Smithenator5000)
You're welcome. Sorry, but there was a small error which has been corrected now: sin(90) = 1.

By the way, which board and syllabus do your school use?
We use OCR 20th Century Science and I'm taking triple x
6. (Original post by Britster.for)
We use OCR 20th Century Science and I'm taking triple x
I believe that my school did a similar coursework task to what you're doing, however we used the OCR B syllabus (gateway science suite). I also did triple science at GCSE and am doing A levels in maths, physics, chemistry and further maths now (in my first year). Good luck in your coursework.
7. (Original post by Smithenator5000)
I believe that my school did a similar coursework task to what you're doing, however we used the OCR B syllabus (gateway science suite). I also did triple science at GCSE and am doing A levels in maths, physics, chemistry and further maths now (in my first year). Good luck in your coursework.
I'm looking to do chemistry A - level also, and Thanks !

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