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So this person just ran horizontally straight off the cliff and then they start to gain velocity.So they're gonna gain vertical velocity downward and maybe more vertical velocity because gravity keeps pulling, and then even more, this might go off the screen but it's gonna be really big. What we know is that horizontally this person started off with an initial velocity.
Alright, so conceptually what's happening here, the same thing that happens for any projectile problem, the horizontal direction is happening independently of the vertical direction.
And what I mean by that is that the horizontal velocity evolves independent to the vertical velocity. So say the vertical velocity, or the vertical direction is pink, horizontal direction is green.
So I'm gonna show you what that is in a minute so that you don't fall into the same trap.
What we mean by a horizontally launched projectile is any object that gets launched in a completely horizontal velocity to start with.
So if you choose downward as negative, this has to be a negative displacement. Well, for a freely flying object we know that the acceleration vertically is always gonna be negative 9.8 meters per second squared, assuming downward is negative.
Now, here's the point where people get stumped, and here's the part where people make a mistake.
They want to say that the initial velocity in the y direction is five meters per second.
I mean people are just dying to stick these five meters per second into here because that's the velocity that you were given. That's why this is called horizontally launched projectile motion, not vertically launched projectile motion. The initial velocity in the vertical direction here was zero, there was no initial vertical velocity.
And let's say they're completely crazy, let's say this cliff is 30 meters tall. This is a classic problem, gets asked all the time.
And if you were a cliff diver, I mean don't try this at home, but if you were a professional cliff diver you might want to know for this cliff high and this speed how fast do I have to run in order to avoid maybe the rocky shore right here that you might want to avoid.