Physics of Javelin Throwing


Answer each part as qualitative as possible, but quantitative reasoning is allowed. Use kinematics, dynamics, momentum/ impulse and energy/ work where necessary in your explanation. Each section is limited to 500 words; around 250-350 words per section is suggested. Include your sources if used.

A Javelin thrower must throw his javelin from behind a line marked on the ground. The winner is the person who throws his javelin furthest as measured from this line. Athletes are not allowed to cross this line. Olympic Athletes always run up, throw and stop just behind this line.

Part A

Using Principles of Physics, explain why it benefits the athletes to be moving as they throw the javelin.

Part B
Using Principles of Physics including work and kinetic energy, explain why athletes always release the javelin some distance behind the line.

Part C

The best athletes manage to throw over 90 meters. Good throwers always throw their javelin so that it flies up some substantial height above the ground. Using Principles of Physics, explain why this benefits the athlete

Part D

The best javelin throwers are always large people with very strong bodies. Use principles of physics including Work and Kinetic Energy to explain why such people are best at throwing javelins.

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