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published by the PhET
This webpage contains a simulation that allows the user to fire various objects out of a cannon.  By manipulating angle, initial speed, mass, and air resistance, concepts of projectile motion are illustrated.  This page also contains user-submitted suggestions of ideas and activities for this simulation.

This item is part of a larger collection of simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET). The simulations are animated, interactive, and game-like environments in which students learn through exploration. All of the simulations are freely available from the PhET web site for incorporation into classes.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Applications of Newton's Laws
- Motion in Two Dimensions
= Projectile Motion
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/flash
  • Currently 4.7/5

Rated 4.7 stars by 3 people

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Access Rights:
Free access
Additional information is available.
2d motion, acceleration, ballistic motion, gravity, interactive multimedia, kinematics, projectile motion
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created April 7, 2006 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 3, 2006
Other Collections:


Author: Jennifer Broekman
Posted: January 20, 2008 at 1:44PM
Source: The Physics Front collection

But perhaps more useful if there were a numerical way to edit the firing angle.

» reply

Job well done

Author: Alex Ojinta
Posted: February 2, 2011 at 9:53PM
Source: The PSRC collection

Really apreciate its helps in explainig diagramaticaly

» reply

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Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Forces and Motion (PS2.A)
  • The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion. (6-8)
  • Newton's second law accurately predicts changes in the motion of macroscopic objects. (9-12)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity (3-12)
  • Algebraic thinking is used to examine scientific data and predict the effect of a change in one variable on another (e.g., linear growth vs. exponential growth). (9-12)
Systems and System Models (K-12)
  • Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions. (6-8)
  • When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined. (9-12)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
    • Develop and use a model to describe phenomena. (6-8)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
    • Use a model to provide mechanistic accounts of phenomena. (9-12)

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
  • 9-12: 4F/H1. The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass.
  • 9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
  • 9-12: 11B/H1a. A mathematical model uses rules and relationships to describe and predict objects and events in the real world.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments

Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)

MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

High School — Algebra (9-12)

Seeing Structure in Expressions (9-12)
  • A-SSE.1.b Interpret complicated expressions by viewing one or more of their parts as a single entity.
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Record Link
AIP Format
(PhET, Boulder), WWW Document, (
PhET Simulation: Projectile Motion (PhET, Boulder), <>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Projectile Motion. (2006, March 3). Retrieved July 17, 2024, from PhET:
Chicago Format
PhET. PhET Simulation: Projectile Motion. Boulder: PhET, March 3, 2006. (accessed 17 July 2024).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Projectile Motion. Boulder: PhET. 3 Mar. 2006. 17 July 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Projectile Motion}, Publisher = {PhET}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {17 July 2024}, Month = {March 3, 2006}, Year = {} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Projectile Motion %D March 3, 2006 %I PhET %C Boulder %U %O application/flash

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D March 3, 2006 %T PhET Simulation: Projectile Motion %I PhET %V 2024 %N 17 July 2024 %8 March 3, 2006 %9 application/flash %U

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Citation Source Information

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