Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Rocket meaning - definition

  1. Aug 26, 2016 #1
    I was wondering if there is an actual definition given by a recognised organisation over what is meant by the word "rocket". In case there is not, I wanted to reflect upon what do we really mean when we say rockets.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2016 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Why do you think it might matter?
  4. Aug 28, 2016 #3
    I would say it is a vehicle that carries all of its own fuel, and pushes gas out of its engine for propulsion but I don't really know.
  5. Aug 29, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think we need to add the oxidiser to the fuel if we are to say it is a rocket.
  6. Aug 29, 2016 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Why does it have to be oxidation? Why does it have to be a chemical reaction?
  7. Aug 29, 2016 #6
    Good point! I suppose a cannon could also act as a rocket.
  8. Aug 29, 2016 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  9. Aug 29, 2016 #8


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure it fits the definition, but maybe that's where the word "Rocket" came from. I understand that Neanderthals did hunt birds by throwing rocks, and they were in the process of developing a primitive language and grammar. It became a common battle cry when they attacked a flock of birds, "Rock It!" :wink:

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  10. Aug 29, 2016 #9
    I'm not entirely sure what was going through my mind when I said that, perhaps I was thinking of the cannon ball as the reaction mass and the recoil as the reaction. I could have done better. :)
    This is a good question.
  11. Aug 29, 2016 #10

    Fervent Freyja

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The word *rocket* means Wernher von Braun where I'm from... :biggrin:

  12. Aug 30, 2016 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    When I was younger we used a thing called a dictionary to answer such questions. Some dictionaries are produced by "recognised organisations". These days you make a few mouse clicks...

  13. Aug 31, 2016 #12
    First known use was in 1530.
    Origin and Etymology of the word Rocket : Italian rocchetta, literally, small distaff, from diminutive of rocca distaff, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German rocko distaff
    Rocket, a firework consisting of a case partly filled with a combustible composition fastened to a guiding stick and propelled through the air by the rearward discharge of the gases liberated by combustion.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Rocket meaning - definition
  1. Why are rockets round? (Replies: 12)

  2. Help with model rocket (Replies: 18)