Human Cannonball Challenge

GeddesPhysics Laboratories
To:     Research and Development Team
From:  Mrs. Geddes
GeddesPhysics Laboratories has been contacted by “Clowns Inc.” to assist them with a new addition to their program.  Clowns Inc., an entertainment group that travels to county and state fairs throughout the United States, hopes to add to their program the excitement of a human cannonball.   They would like to have their human cannonball fly through a hoop at the peak of the motion and require our assistance to accomplish this most entertaining feat.  Your team of engineers must come up with a way to determine: 1) where the safety net should be placed to catch the human cannonball at the end of the trajectory, and 2) where the ring should be placed so the human cannonball flies through it at his/her peak height.

Each engineering team will proceed by first performing the necessary research and calculations to address the goal of the project.  Once you have determined the hoop and safety net location based on these draft calculations, you must test your work by performing a small scale trial.  If your trial confirms your calculations, assemble your work for presentation to the GeddesPhysics Board of Directors.  The presentation may be assembled in a format of your choice (video, powerpoint, lab report, poster, etc.) but must address the goal of the project, documentation of your calculations, any needed sketches to illustrate your point, and a conclusion addressing the determined location of the hoop and safety net.  You must state the launch angle and the range you have chosen for the human cannonball act. 

Good luck to you and your team.


GeddesPhysics Board of Directors;
   We believe that we have chosen the appropriate launch angle and velocity to create the most awe-inspiring cannonball launch of all time. With an angle of 89 degrees, the maximum height will be achieved in the launch of Devan the Clown. The intense velocity of the launch--200 m/s--creates an extremely dangerous descent for our preformer, making the feat very exciting. At the peak of his projectile motion path, he will reach the unbelievable height of 2040.2 m. There is no doubt the crowd will cheer in amazement!! We are honored that we were asked to assist Clown Inc. in creating an exciting act for upcoming fairs. The performance we have produced is sure to be the most anticipated act the fair-goers have ever seen!
                                                                      GeddesPhysics Laboratories Researchers
                                                                      Faith and Jon


Below is the link to our projectile motion simulation of Davan the Clown's flight path and landing.
File Size: 613 kb
File Type: wmv
Download File