Artillery was established in Europe around the year 1400. But physics, the mathematical and systematical description of how objects fall, the foundation of engine construction, didn't dawn until about 1600 with Johannes Kepler's explanation of planetary movements. And physics didn't become (potentially) practically useful for artillery until the better part of that century later with Newton's math describing forces and vectors.
Here's a battery of sub-questions for inspiration. Please aim, fire and duck as you please among these bullet points:
- How did early artillery work in the times before Galileo when everybody still believed Aristotle's false idea that heavy objects fall faster than light objects? How did this serious misconception affect the design and aiming of early artillery? Was it just trial and error?
- How did artillery change when physics discovered how projectiles actually move? Did for example the fortification genius de Vauban use Newtonian calculations in 1700?
- Did the advent of artillery in Europe maybe even contribute to the breakthrough of physical science? I've never heard of it, just a very speculative question. One might've expected that physics came before artillery, but it was the other way around. And remember Newton's drawing of a cannon ball being fired into Earth's orbit, as illustration of a consequence of his physics. Artillery came quickly to mind while I suspect that the falling apple is a biblically inspired popular myth.