Physics » One-Dimensional Motion » Vertical Projectile Motion

Vertical Projectile Motion

Vertical Projectile Motion

In the next set of lessons, we are going to look at the motion of objects that are either projected, thrown, or shot directly into the air, be it vertically upwards, downwards or when objects are dropped. This is something that everyone has experienced while playing games and we all have a strong intuition that ‘what goes up, must come down’, but now we’ll study why that is the case.


Image credit: Splung Physics (

Recall that in the motion of objects in free fall, an object has a constant gravitational acceleration of \(\vec{g}\). We will now study the motion of objects that are moving upwards or downwards while experiencing a force due to gravity. We call this projectile motion. We will only consider the case where objects move vertically upwards and/or downwards – meaning that there is no horizontal displacement of the object, only vertical displacement.

When we talk about a projectile we mean a body or particle that is project or launched and then moves under the influence of only gravity.

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