Question Video: Understanding the Acceleration of a Thrown Ball | Nagwa Question Video: Understanding the Acceleration of a Thrown Ball | Nagwa

Question Video: Understanding the Acceleration of a Thrown Ball Science • Third Year of Preparatory School

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A ball is thrown upward. After the ball has left the thrower’s hand, it has uniform acceleration. In which direction is the acceleration?

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Video Transcript

A ball is thrown upward. After the ball has left the thrower’s hand, it has uniform acceleration. In which direction is the acceleration? Is it (A) downward or (B) upward?

When the ball leaves the thrower’s hand, the ball moves upward. The speed of the ball must be greater than zero for the ball to move. Let us imagine what would happen to the ball if after it left the thrower’s hand, the ball had uniform acceleration upward. The upward speed of the ball would increase as the ball traveled upward. The ball would move faster upward the further upward it traveled. The ball would never change direction and so would never start to move downward.

Let us instead imagine what would happen to the ball if after it left the thrower’s hand, the ball had uniform acceleration downward. As soon as the ball leaves the thrower’s hand, the ball is accelerated downward. This does not mean that the ball immediately travels downward however, as the ball was traveling upward when it left the thrower’s hand. What would happen is that the ball would travel upward but would slow down as it traveled. The ball would continue to slow down until the speed of the ball was zero. The ball would then increase in speed again but now traveling downward. The ball would then fall to the ground.

When a ball is thrown, we observe the ball to eventually fall back to earth, not to move ever faster away from earth. The acceleration of the ball is then downward.

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