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Exploration of Projectile Motion and Air Resistance Using a Java Applet

Joel Bernier and Mark Fogleman
2004-2005 CSIP Fellows

Using a Java applet, students perform virtual experiments to study the characteristics of projectile motion, which would otherwise be difficult to perform in a typical classroom. Using the applet, students will observe the effects of air resistance on the idealized motion presented in the standard curriculum. They will identify the dependent and independent variables in the experiment, obtain and plot data, and analyze their results in order to discover or reinforce the relationships between the dependent and independent variables. The activity concludes with discussion of plausible functional forms of air resistance, drawing both on the experimental results and on the students' personal experience.

Downloadable files:

Teacher's Guide

Student Version, with Applet

Student Worksheet

Air Resistance (background information sheet, for use after students have conducted experiments using the applet)




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