# Acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon

• philip porhammer
In summary, the equation for a pumpkin's acceleration when the air pressure in not constant is a long list of equations with unknown coefficients. It is doubtful that the analytic approach will be much help with Pumpkin Chunkin, but there is still room for experimental physics and engineering in this world.
philip porhammer
Summary: what is the equation for a pumkin's acceleration when the air pressure in not constant.

My Daughter and I are going to Pumpkin chunkin for the first time.
I would like to get two orange shirts and scribble:
what part of this don't you understand:
(DifEq?) acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon. acceleration is not constant.
I will draw out an air cannon. this is only for my daughter and I. not making any for sale. just having fun!
will post a pic here from the event...

philip porhammer said:
Pumpkin chunkin
Good for you. That sounds like a great activity for father and daughter.

The first principle equation is the familiar f=ma. But the devil is figuring out what f is. You'll find that it is not a simple formula, but a long list of equations with unknown coefficients.

I am very skeptical that the analytic approach will be much help with pumpkin chunkin. Learn from others; watch lots of Youtube videos; experiment. There is still lots of room for experimental physics/engineering in this world.

air cannon theory has good equations! thanks!

Like so many things today, there's a tool for this and an app for that. In this case, there's a calculator for pumpkin Chunkin:

http://www.iconico.com/ultimaCalc/punkin_balllistics.aspx
First I imagine the launch force will be constant for all pumpkin shots so that means that by measuring a few shots you could get the equations calibrated. From there, knowing the weight of the pumpkin (can you weigh it?) and the angle of the shot you could figure the distance. Also remember that since the pumpkin isn't a point particle that there is air drag that will blunt the parabolic trajectory of a perfect shot.

berkeman
I just looking to make a t-shirt for my daughter and I with some equations and an air cannon, thantks

But wouldn't it be cooler to actually win and then you could sell tons of the t-shirt that made it all possible. :-)

Comeback City and gmax137
wiki "projectile motion"

scroll down to the section
Trajectory of a projectile with air resistance

Look for equations sx (this is the horizontal distance reached). That ought to be good enough for a tee shirt

Here's some slides with projectile motion and graphs for your t-shirt (just add a pumpkin somewhere):

http://hydrogen.physik.uni-wuppertal.de/hyperphysics/hyperphysics/hbase/traj.html

## 1. What is an air cannon and how does it work?

An air cannon is a device that uses compressed air to launch objects at high speeds. The cannon has a chamber filled with compressed air and a valve that releases the air in a controlled burst. This creates a force that propels the object, in this case, a pumpkin, out of the cannon at high speeds.

## 2. How is the acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon calculated?

The acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon can be calculated using the formula a = F/m, where a is the acceleration, F is the force generated by the air cannon, and m is the mass of the pumpkin. The force can be calculated by multiplying the pressure of the compressed air by the area of the cannon's opening. The mass of the pumpkin can be measured using a scale.

## 3. What factors affect the acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon?

The acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon can be affected by several factors, including the pressure of the compressed air, the mass of the pumpkin, the angle at which the cannon is fired, and the amount of friction between the pumpkin and the cannon's barrel. Other factors such as wind resistance and air temperature can also impact the acceleration.

## 4. Can the acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon be increased?

Yes, the acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon can be increased by adjusting the pressure of the compressed air, using a lighter pumpkin, and minimizing friction between the pumpkin and the barrel of the cannon. Additionally, firing the cannon at a higher angle can also increase the acceleration of the pumpkin.

## 5. What is the practical application of studying the acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon?

Studying the acceleration of a pumpkin from an air cannon can have several practical applications. It can be used to understand the principles of projectile motion and the effects of different variables on acceleration. This knowledge can also be applied in fields such as engineering and physics to design and improve devices that use compressed air for propulsion.

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