Ball arc flight distance in trigonometry class

In MS 101 Algebra and Trigonometry the formula distance = (2 velocity² sin θ cos θ)/gravity arises in the text. Rather than leave the concepts completely abstract, the class went outside with a protractor and radar gun to obtain measurements of the launch velocity and launch angle. This term the class did not attempt to measure the distance of flight.


Midson Tom and Angie Joab hold meters sticks, Jamal Ranganbay is pitching, Tommy Wichilbuch Jr. holds the radar gun.


One of the set of numbers out this exercise was a launch velocity of 12.2 m/s at an angle of 47 degrees. The exercise also helps demonstrate that out in the "real world" angle measuring devices utilize degrees and not radians. There are fields in which radians are more useful, for example those fields which study wave-based phenomenon, but where static angles are involved degrees are more often used.

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