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A friend and myself have constructed a very basic potato cannon and we are now looking to find the initial velocity of the potato as it leaves the barrel. I was wondering if there is a formula with which we can calculate this speed. We have found that flight time is the only ‘easy’ variable to measure, although I am sure there are others that we have not thought of yet. For safety reasons we only fire the projectile vertically.

We came across a very simplified formula which was

V = g t

Where

v = initial velocity,

g = speed of gravity,

t = time taken for the flight of the projectile – from when it leaves the barrel to when it hits the ground

I realise that this discounts the effect of air resistance, but is this correct? Or can anyone point me towards a better formula to use. g = speed of gravity,

t = time taken for the flight of the projectile – from when it leaves the barrel to when it hits the ground

We are both in the equivalent of US Grade 10 so our knowledge of this area of mechanics/physics is limited.

Thanks.