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How can you accurately find the initial velocity of a toy gun?

  1. Nov 16, 2014 #1
    Disregarding air resistance, how could you find an accurate number for the initial velocity of a toy gun?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2014 #2


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    Ballistic pendulum? Fire it into a pendulum so that it sticks and see how high the pendulum goes?

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  4. Nov 16, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Why would you disregard air resistance? Do you want to know Vo or not?
  5. Nov 17, 2014 #4


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    The exit velocity is the velocity, whatever you are firing into. I think, by "disregarding air resistance" he refers to the measurement method. If he is, then observing the maximum height achieved (KE=GPE) would be a way forward (or up haha). The ballistic pendulum would be more accurate and repeatable, once he's got his technique right.
  6. Nov 17, 2014 #5


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    The pendulum is probably the best way.

    But you can also check if your digital camera supports slow motion filming. Some cameras below 500$ can film at more than 1000fps, which should be enough for a "toy gun". The pixel resolution is usually low, but sufficient if you place the camera right next to the muzzle.
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