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Potato Cannon PVC pipe

  1. Mar 5, 2006 #1
    Okay. we were given a problem in Physics class regarding a PVC pipe, a potato and a peice of dowling(wood)

    we were instructed to stick both ends of the pipe into the potato and then (once we had a good plug in either end) push one plug towards the other through the pipe with the peice of dowling. We were told to do this three times pushing slow, and three times fast. Then we were to take the distance the potato plug flew (once the pressure was enough to pop it out) and use it to measure how fast the potato plug moved, and what its acceleration was inside the tube (because once it left the tube the velocity was constant, ignoring air resistance). Finding the velocity for the trip was easy (using gravity and the height of the desk the tube was on to find trip time) but when i plugged it into my formula to find the acceleration in the tube i got numbers up around 1000 m/s2 for my potato. my partner and i feel these are way too grossly high and as such are posting them here for comments.

    does any of this seem wrong to you?
    sorry the images are so huge
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2006 #2


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    I could not see any obvious trobles with your calcuations. It does seem like a pretty high acceleration but if you have double checked your measurements and your calculations you have to accept it.

    Big is not a problem here, I could actually read it. BTW nice write up. :smile:
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