Shooting an arrow from a bow is not as easy as it looks. Unknown to many archers, there are multiple factors
which go into how far an arrow will fly, what the flight path of an arrow is, and more. This section will deal with
the very basics of archery flight which is how far an arrow will fly. This is also what our interactive arrow
shooting game is based on. We hope you understand and enjoy learning simple physics.
The bow is a simple machine called a two-arm spring. The energy stored by the archer is in the bending of the
bow. The potential energy is then transferred to the arrow in the form of kinetic energy when the archer releases
The bow itself is obviously a very important factor when it comes to how far an arrow will fly but we
decided to use the simplest bow to minimize difficulty in our simulation game. The same goes for the
Other factors we will talk about in this article which effect how far an arrow will fly is the initial angle the
arrow is fired, the initial velocity (how fast) that the arrow is flying, the weight of the arrow, the
length of the arrow, the length of the arrow's feathers, and the height of the arrow's feathers.
First, velocity is determined by the force of the bow, the efficiency of the bow, and the mass of the arrow. In
our simulation, these have already been calculated to increase simplicity. Of course, the higher the initial velocity
the faster and further the arrow will travel.
A second factor is the initial angle. One common misconception about the initial angle is that people believe if
the initial angle were higher, then, the arrow would travel faster. That is not the case at all.
While an arrow will fly further if it is pointed up in the air, pointing the arrow too far up will make it
travel much shorter than normal.
The reason is that since the arrow is pointed up so high it has to go up the whole way and, then, come back
down once it has lost most of its momentum. Since the arrow has lost most of its momentum up in the air, it has
no more momentum to go forward. So, it comes down really fast but really short. If you're having a problem
understanding this, think of a pointy mountain. If you shoot an arrow at the same angle the mountain is sloping,
the arrow will stop at the peak and land on the other side of the mountain. On the other hand, if you were to
visualize a really long "U" shaped hill with the ends of the "U" more spread out you could see that the arrow
would travel much further than an arrow fired with a mountain type angle.
The next factor is the weight of the arrow. This is a very tricky area of physics. In real life, many archers
choose to have a light arrow shaft, but heavy tip. Unfortunately, our game is not able to represent that factor.
So, we represent the arrow weight in a very general manner. There is a certain point between heavy and light
arrows which is the ideal weight of an arrow. This is because if the arrow is too light, then, it may blow itself off
course as it is flying through the air. Thus, it makes an accurate shot difficult. A really heavy arrow, on the other
hand, will tend to create a lot of drag and fall much faster than a lighter arrow. This will also effect the accuracy.
Thus, an ideal arrow's weight is between light and heavy. Of course, the weight of the arrow is entirely
dependent on the archer's preference, since everyone likes different weights of arrows.
Another factor is the length of the arrow's feathers. Since larger feathers take up more space, there is more
resistance as the arrow flies. So, basically, the longer the arrow the shorter the distance it will fly.
The height of the feathers is the last parameter in the game, but certainly not the last in real life. Like the
length of the arrow's feathers, the larger the height the more drag it creates. Thus, the arrow will fly further with
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