One of my favorite books is “Physics for Game Developers” by David Bourg from O’Reilly.
Well written, excellent explanations, a very approachable book to a fairly daunting subject. It was released quite a few number of years ago, but Amazon is indicating that an updated version is due out soon. In the beginnings of the book he gives a few examples that have to do with a canon firing a canon ball. It’s a 3D Particle Kinetics demonstration and I’ve ported it to Real Studio. It’s pretty simple, but it is using real world physics calculations relating to mass, gravity, etc. I would imagine the developers who wrote the “Crazy Birds” iPhone app had a copy of this book on their shelf. This type of physics “engine” code can be used in a remarkably broad set of circumstances limited only by your imagination to apply it in a game or simulation project.
The demo shows a top view and a side view of a canon (on left) shooting a projectile that hits a target (red rectangle). The path of the ball is traced out as the timer based animation plays. Again, nothing real fancy, but I think it’s pretty cool way to wrap your head around the physics of particle kinetics.
The project also includes a “bonus” folder of a Rb 3D Vector Library. This library includes a port from the C++ vector library presented in “iPhone 3D Programming” by Philip Rideout from O’Reilly Publishers. Vectors, Matrices, Quaternion and Parametric classes, nifty stuff.