# Projectile Motion assignment - Building a projectile launcher

• Hans
In summary, the person is seeking advice on building a projectile launcher for a small object, such as a tennis ball. They mention the need to calculate the angle and consider using a ballista or other mechanical device such as a spring or lever. Another option discussed is using a vacuum cleaner connected to a PVC pipe to create low pressure and push the ball along the barrel. However, the person is leaning towards building a trebuchet for its accuracy and ease of use.
Hans
I need help/advice on building a simple projectile launcher, for a tennis ball or smaller object.

I need to calculate the angle so it must be something that shoots fairly straight (ballista?).

~Hans

One could search Google with "ballista".

Is the device supposed to be mechanical, e.g. spring (bow) or lever (catapault, trebuchet)?

The alternative would be a propellant such as compressed gas or explosive chemcial reaction (which is hazardous).

Use a vacuum cleaner connected to the front of a long PVC pipe. The pipe from the vc connets via a T piece to the barrel that launches the ball. Seal the front of the pipe with a piece of paper and insert the ball in the other end. The vc will then create a low pressure in front of the ball when it is inserted at the other end. Air pressure then pushes it along the barrel (although I like to think that it is carried along by the air stream). The ball will fly pass the section where the vacuum cleaner is connected to the pipe and push the piece of paper out of the way. With a setup like this one might introduce some spin on the ball as it passes through the barrel. This will then cause it to deflect a bit (usually downwards) due to the Magnus force.

I don't know about you, but I'm probably building a trebuchet. One, because they are supposedly very accurate. Two, I can't find anything else on the Internet. Three, the air launcher would take too much time to set up in between launches. Four, I don't think my teacher would appreciate it if I brought a vacuum cleaner into class.

## 1. What is projectile motion?

Projectile motion is the motion of an object through the air, under the influence of gravity. It follows a curved path due to the combination of horizontal and vertical motion.

## 2. What is a projectile launcher?

A projectile launcher is a device that is used to launch objects into the air with a specific initial velocity. It can be powered by various methods such as compressed air, springs, or explosions.

## 3. How can I build a projectile launcher?

To build a projectile launcher, you will need a sturdy base, a launching mechanism, and a way to control the angle and velocity of the launch. You can use materials such as PVC pipes, wooden boards, and rubber bands to create a simple launcher.

## 4. How does the angle affect projectile motion?

The angle of launch affects the range and height of the projectile. The optimal angle for maximum range is 45 degrees, while a higher angle will result in a higher arc and lower angle will result in a shorter range.

## 5. What factors affect the distance a projectile travels?

The distance a projectile travels is affected by the initial velocity, launch angle, air resistance, and the height of the launch. Other factors such as wind and temperature can also have an impact on the distance.

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