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MCAT Physics Question — Projectile Motion

Which of the following accurately compares the final velocity (vf) and acceleration (af) of an object as it strikes the ground to the velocity (v) and acceleration (a) immediately after being launched from a platform 10 meters above than the striking surface?


  1. |af| > |a| and |vf| > |v|
  2. |af| < |a| and |vf| < |v|
  3. |af| = |a| and |vf| > |v|
  4. |af| = |a| and |vf| < |v|
Click for Explanation

This question requires the examinee to understand projectile motion characteristics throughout flight. At the time of launch, the projectile has kinetic energy and potential energy that is converted entirely into kinetic energy as the projectile strikes the surface. Thus the magnitude of the projectile’s final velocity (vf) is greater than the initial velocity (v). Additionally, the acceleration of the object is equal to gravity and does not change during flight making choice C the correct answer.

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