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Tennis Ball Launcher Help

  1. Nov 17, 2004 #1
    Me and two friends need to build a tennis ball launcher using nothing but stored mechanical energy to propel it. Our concept is similiar to a mortar or cannon. We tried some comercial springs from Home Depot and even a spring from inside a sprinkler head, but the tennis ball does not have enough velocity to even get out of the barrel. We are considering using a mattress spring, but need some ideas on how to increase the velocity. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2004 #2
    Think about reducing friction. If that doesn't help too much, the only options using a spring would be to reduce mass, increase spring constant, or compress the spring more. As you most likely know, this is due to:
    [tex]F_{net}=ma[/tex] and
    [tex]F_{spring}=-kx[/tex]
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2004
  4. Nov 18, 2004 #3

    NoTime

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    Is the spring end of tube open?
    If not and the ball fits snugly in the tube, you have problems with air pressure.
     
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