Horizontal Motion

A projectile is defined as an object thrown into space upon which gravity is the only force acting. Throwing a ball or a bullet that is fired from a gun are some classic examples of projectile motion. The motion of a projectile can be seen as the combination of two separate kinds of motion taking place simultaneously. In a projectile motion, we can see one component acting in a horizontal direction without generating any acceleration and another component acting along the vertical direction with constant acceleration because of the force of gravity. In this article, let us know in detail about horizontal motion.

Projectile Motion

When a particle is projected obliquely near the earth’s surface, it moves in horizontal as well as vertical directions simultaneously. The motion of such a particle is known as the projectile motion.

Rectilinear motions involved in projectile motion are:

Two independent simultaneous motions are responsible for projectile motion.

  1. X-axis: uniform velocity is accountable for the horizontal motion of the particle (forward movement).
  2. Y-axis: uniform acceleration is accountable for the vertical motion of the particle (downward movement).

Projectile motion is categorised into:

  • Horizontal motion
  • Vertical motion

Projectile Motion on Inclined Plane

2D Motion and Projectile Motion

What Is Horizontal Motion?

Did you know the only force acting upon a projectile is gravity? Gravity proceeds to impact the vertical motion of the projectile generating a vertical acceleration. A projectile’s horizontal motion is the result of the tendency of any object to persist the motion at a constant velocity. Since horizontal forces are absent, the projectile continues to be in motion at a constant horizontal velocity. Here, to keep a projectile moving horizontally, horizontal forces are not necessary. The horizontal motion of a projectile is independent of its vertical motion.

The motion of a projectile in a horizontal plane, which depends upon the force acting on it, is known as horizontal motion. It was the great scientist Galileo, who first put forth the independence of the horizontal and the vertical components of projectile motion in his dialogue on the great world systems.

The horizontal component of the speed of a projectile is constant throughout the flight duration. Since after launching the projectile, no horizontal force acts on it. This is the reason the projectile travels horizontally at a constant speed. Let us know how to calculate the distance covered by a projectile.

Distance = speed × Time

d = vt

Examples of Horizontal Motion

After learning the definition of horizontal motion, let us know some examples of horizontal motion.

  • A boat travelling in a river.
  • A bullet fired from a gun.
  • Throwing a ball or a cannonball.
  • Movement of a billiard ball on the billiard table.
  • The motion of the planet Earth around the Sun.

Know More about 2 Dimensional Motion (2D), Watch the Video Below

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is horizontal motion?

The motion of a projectile in a horizontal plane, which depends upon the force acting on it, is known as horizontal motion.

What is the formula to calculate the distance covered by a projectile?

Distance = speed × Time
d = vt

What is the only force acting upon a projectile?

The only force acting upon a projectile is gravity.

State true or false: A bullet fired from a gun is an example of circular motion.

False. A bullet fired from a gun is an example of projectile motion.

How is projectile motion categorised?

Projectile motion is categorised into:

  1. Horizontal motion
  2. Vertical motion

Watch the Video and Practice Projectile Motion Problems

Test Your Knowledge On Horizontal Motion!

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