The X and Y Vectors

When calculating how far a projectile will fly, how long it will be in the air, or any other number involved with more than one dimension, there are two factors that need to be considered. When you have a projectile launched at a certain angle, there is an X vectors (the horizontal direction) and a Y vector to every velocity value. The equation for the X vector is used when calculating anything that has to do with how far the projectile has traveled. The Y vector is used when calculating anything that has to do with how high or long the projectile has traveled. The velocity of the projectile in the X direction is usually referred to as Vox and in the Y direction Voy. Here are the equations that are used in conjunction with the X and Y vectors.

X Direction Vox = Vo × cos Ø
Y Direction Voy = Vo × sin Ø

These two equations will play a more important role later on in dealing with projectile motion.  They are also important to any equation that has to deal with motion in two dimensions.  You will see these two equations pop up fairly frequently.  They will be used to replace either Vox or Voy in order to for you to be able to use the existing given information in the problem instead of having to calculate everything independently, then enter in later.

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