1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
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)