What is the speed of a ball when it leaves the launching ramp? The answer to this question may seem obvious, but there are actually several different calculations to determine how fast a ball does leave the ramp. The two most common calculations for determining velocity are:

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(1) calculating average velocity and (2) calculate instantaneous velocity. Let’s take a look at these two equations and explore which one we should use in our calculation. The average velocity is the total distance divided by time. For example, if you calculated the average speed of a car traveling for 15 minutes at 60 mph (89 ft/min), then this would be: 60 miles ÷ 30 min = 80 feet per minute or 89 ft / min. This means that in one minute, it will have traveled 89ft and in two minutes, 178ft. It’s like calculating an ‘average’. If we use our previous formula to calculate instantaneous velocity from five different positions on the ramp with different times elapsed since launch, the equations are as follows: Therefore, which calculation should we use? The problem with using instantaneous velocity calculations to determine how fast a ball leaves off of a launching ramp.

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