Kantrowitz ’82 Co-Authors Article on Projectile Motion
“The English Galileo and His Vision of Projectile Motion under Air Resistance,” co-authored by Professor of Mathematics Robert Kantrowitz ’82, was recently published in Volume 2020 of the International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences.
Based on the practical experience of engineers and gunners of his time, mathematician and philosopher Thomas Harriot (1560–1621) – dubbed “the English Galileo” – envisioned that the trajectory of an airborne projectile exhibits an asymmetry that results from the air’s influence.
Written with Michael M. Neumann of Mississippi State University, the article confirms Harriot’s insights by presenting a detailed discussion of the shape of the trajectory traced by a projectile under the forces of gravity and air resistance. The authors’ approach is based on the fact that the flight path of a resisted projectile is implemented by a strictly concave function for which the derivative is also strictly concave.