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AP Physics

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This question had been asked for many times and I've read the solution and did it myself.
Tom the cat is chasing Jerry the mouse across a table surface 1.5 m off the floor. Jerry steps out of the way at the last second, and Tom slides off the edge of the table at a speed of 5.0 m/s. Where will Tom strike the floor, and what velocity components will he have just before he hits?
I just don't get the question that well. Aren't we taught that the x component doesn't matter? Then why did we use the velocity (5.0m/s) to find out the values...etc?
I just learned about projectile motion today and it was pretty complicated...thank you.

  • AP Physics -

    The velocity Tom had in the x direction determines how far away from the base of the table Tom lands. If he simply stepped off he would land at the base of the table. But if he has a velocity, he will land some distance from the base.

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