Launches. Parabolic shot

Do you want to know more about launching objects in general and parabolic shooting in particular?

The online launch simulations on this page will help you to better understand how these phenomena are from the point of view of physics and, in particular, how is the parabolic shot.

The launching of objects and, more specifically, the parabolic shot is a very important part of physics in which the motion of an object is described when an initial velocity is applied to it. These concepts are used in a variety of fields, such as classical mechanics and ballistics, and have practical applications in sports, engineering and astronomy.

Throwing refers to the act of propelling an object by means of an initial force, as when throwing a ball by hand. A particular case of great importance is the parabolic throw, which describes the movement of an object in the air under the exclusive influence of gravity and assuming, therefore, that the air does not exert any friction. The trajectory is a symmetrical parabola.

During the parabolic throw, the horizontal velocity of the object remains constant, while the vertical velocity varies due to gravitational acceleration. The maximum height reached by the object in a parabolic shot and the horizontal distance reached depend on the launch angle and the initial velocity.

The parabolic shot has numerous practical applications and is the basis for calculations in fields as diverse as sports (shot put, hammer or javelin, baseball or soccer) or in many areas of engineering such as in the calculation of missile or rocket trajectories.

Falling with horizontal initial velocity


Observe the fall of an object with a horizontal initial velocity.

Launching from a drone


Ball throwing


Projectile launch I


Notice how as the initial angle and velocity of the projectile changes, so does its trajectory.

Projectile launch II


Projectile launch III


Launch a car from a cannon and try to hit the target! Learn about parabolic motion by launching various objects. Adjust parameters such as angle of throw, initial speed and mass. Explore the vector representation and add air resistance to investigate the factors that influence drag.

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