The Science of Archery

The Science of Archery



everyone just here with everyday science and today we're down at the archery range one of my favorite places to be and I thought I'd share with you a little bit of my basic understanding of the science of archery as many of you who know me know archery is pretty much part of my everyday life so I thought this would be fun so the first thing I'm gonna do is knock my arrow into my bow so when I pull the string back what this is going to do is it's creating tension the potential energy or the potential for energy in the limbs of the bow when I release that all of that stored energy or potential energy is going to be converted into kinetic energy or the energy of motion into the arrow which is gracefully going to fly off towards the target it's not actually completely graceful because there's this thing called the archers paradox that happens and it's basically when the arrow first leaves the bow it does this fishtail motion it kind of goes one way and then to the other and it bends and oscillates in the air on the way to the target this happens because the spine or the shaft of the arrow is pretty flexible and of course that depends on what kind of arrow you have now other things with the arrow when it's in flight there's also the fletching or the feathers on the end of your arrow and then there's also the tip which creates weight at the end of it what the fletching does it creates a kind of a spiral motion and with the two things these things help the arrow stabilize while in the air okay so now the arrow is flying through the air in projectile motion and Newton's first law tells us an object at rest stays at rest but an object in motion is going to stay in motion unless an outside force kind of acts upon it now in this case this outside forces gravity so projectile motion is not only horizontal velocity or speed and vertical velocity but it's also this force of gravity kind of acting upon it and this basically means is when the arrow is flying there were no gravity at all I would just go flying flying flying off and off forever and ever and ever but because we have gravity the arrow is coming up up up but gravity is pushing down down down down down until eventually the arrow peaks at the top and then gravity keeps pushing down pushing down until the arrow goes into its target now my bow is about 25 pounds which is relatively light now the reason why this matters is because if you have a heavier bow your arrows going to travel faster to the target so if I'm standing here with my 25 pound bow and somebody is shooting directly behind with a 50 pound bow they're going to have a trajectory probably about here whereas I'm going to exaggerate here I might point my arrow a bit higher than theirs in order to reach the same target and this is because the longer an arrow is in flight the more time gravity has to act upon it and so it's going to drop faster than a faster arrow so heavier bow faster arrow lighter bow slower arrow and the more time that gravity has to bring that arrow down to the ground and so the trajectory is going to be a little bit higher than somebody with a heavier bow now this was just a pretty basic overview of things I did leave out things like friction and air resistance and a couple other things but I just wanted to share with you a basic overview of my understanding of the science of archery thank you so much for watching i'm jess with everyday science

15 Replies to “The Science of Archery”

  1. Nice video. The only misconception in the video is the Archer’s Paradox. The paradox is only for bows where the shelf is either cut to centre or less than centre (i.e – English long bow), because in order for you to hit your target, your arrow isn’t pointing at the target, hence the paradox. Compounds and bows cut past centre won’t have the paradox since the arrow will already be point straight at the target. The arrow flex is just the transfer of energy from the string to the arrow itself.

  2. Was it necessary to show falling apples everytime you say the word gravity?!!😂
    And by the way video was good.👍

  3. Hey this is really cool. I'm actually an archer for my school's archery team from Texas, and this would definitely help the incoming freshman year understand the bows they'll be using. (Even though i'm a bit late to the party) Could you make a follow up to this video to help explain more about the science behind archery? Thanks for the super neat content!

  4. That was really good. I think this will be useful to anyone who needs to brush up on their physics for projectile motion.

  5. This was awesome, Jessica! I adore archery and have always wondered about the physics behind it. I'm really looking forward to your next video. You go girl! 

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