15+ Vertical Motion Examples: Detailed Explanations

The motion of the object is a vertical motion if the acceleration of the object is on the y-axis only.

The vertical motion is in one dimension only and the gravitational potential energy of those objects can be calculated by knowing the height at which it is raised. The following is a list of vertical motion examples:-

Ping Pong Ball

Unlike other balls, the energy and the momentum of the ping pong ball are conserved and hence it bounces at the same level of height above the ground from where it was released.

This ball moves in a vertical motion and the momentum of the center of gravity does not vary.

Climbing on a Coconut Tree

While climbing on a coconut tree, a person moves in a vertically upward direction. With every rise in the height of the person above the ground, the potential energy acquired by the body of a person increases. Therefore the climber feels heavy in weight as he climbs higher and higher.

Accelerating Ball in the Air

If you throw the ball vertically up in the air, kinetic energy will convert into potential energy and the ball will gain the maximum potential energy as it reaches the maximum height.

Due to the gravitational force, the ball will accelerate back towards the ground thus converting the potential energy into kinetic energy in the same vertical motion.


You move your body in a vertical motion while jumping. You apply pressure on the ground with your feet. The equivalent pressure is felt on your body that lifts your body in a vertical motion.

Free Fall in Amusement Park

A group of 4-6 people is made to stand in a carrier that lifts them to the greatest height above the ground. From this height, the lift is suddenly moved downward and the people experienced a free fall. The free fall is due to the gravitational energy exerted on the body and the potential energy acquired by the body has to be eliminated by converting it into kinetic energy.

Aircraft Launching

On launching the aircraft, it moves in a vertical motion initially applying the trust on the surface of the ground.

Rocket launch; Image Credit: pixabay

The trust applied on the ground has to be sufficient to overcome the gravitational force of the Earth exerted on the aircraft.

Lifting Drone

The drone is lifted in the vertical motion in the air by applying the trust on the surface of the ground downward. The direction of the drone is controlled by controlling the voltage flow in the propellers of the drone.

Fruit Fell from the Tree

The fruit falling from the tree falls in a vertical motion downward. The fruit on the tree exerts the gravitational force in the downward direction which is responsible for the acceleration of the fruit downward as it detaches from the tree.

Drawing Water From Well

The bucket full of water moves in a vertical motion upward while pulling the bucket from the well with the help of a rope.

Drawing water from well; Image Credit: pixabay

The use of a pulley helps to reverse the direction of the applied force thus making it easy to draw the water from the well utilizing less muscular force.


The lift moves either up or down in a vertical motion. Each lift has a limit to sway the maximum weight depending upon the capacity of the lift.

Running Tab Water

The tab water runs vertically downward direction and hence moves in a vertical motion.

Tap water; Image Credit: Pixabay

The tab water accelerates down due to the gravitational pull of the Earth.

Oscillating Slinky in Vertical Motion

If you hold a slinky in a vertical position at one end, it will oscillate in a vertical motion on the y-axis. If you release it in the air then it will elongate and be held stable in the air for a few milliseconds as it acquires the highest potential energy and then will collapse the rings making a free fall on the ground vertically.


The waterfall moves a slight in a curvilinear motion while making a fall from the cliff and then jumps down in the basin in a vertical motion.

Waterfall; Image Credit: pixabay

The flow of water is a form of mechanical energy as it acquires potential energy as well as kinetic energy.


The raindrops falling from the sky accelerate in a vertical motion towards the ground. The water vapors evaporate and condense to form a cloud after reaching a great height due to the surface tension and the potential energy.


The water vapors and particles move in a vertical motion along with the speed of the cyclone. The acceleration of the water molecules is in the upwards and downward motion due to the variation in the kinetic and potential energy of the water molecules.


While jumping on the trampoline, the body is thrown at a height in a vertical motion.

Kids jumping on a trampoline; Image Credit: pixabay

The force imposed on the body to throw the body in the upward direction is exerted equivalent to the force applied on the elastic surface of the trampoline on a jump. The elastic potential energy of the trampoline is released to the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the gravitational potential energy of the object in a vertical motion?

The gravitational potential energy of the object is the energy acquired by the object on raising at a height above the ground.

The gravitational potential energy of the object in a vertical motion is proportional to the height of the object above the ground and is calculated using the formula U=mgh.

Why are some objects in the vertical motion displaced horizontally?

Some objects moving in a vertical motion are not exactly transported in a vertical motion.

The object also exerts external force like air draft force that moves the object slightly in a horizontal path and hence they do not move exactly in a vertical motion.


Hi, I’m Akshita Mapari. I have done M.Sc. in Physics. I have worked on projects like Numerical modeling of winds and waves during cyclone, Physics of toys and mechanized thrill machines in amusement park based on Classical Mechanics. I have pursued a course on Arduino and have accomplished some mini projects on Arduino UNO. I always like to explore new zones in the field of science. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. Apart from this, I like to read, travel, strumming on guitar, identifying rocks and strata, photography and playing chess. Connect me on LinkedIn - linkedin.com/in/akshita-mapari-b38a68122

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