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Trebuchet, what to look for?

  1. May 19, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I've been asked to complete a report on an ancient weapon (Trebuchet chosen) for a final year paper. Basically its to be structured like this:

    - An introduction including a brief history of the ancient weapon i.e where it was used, why etc.
    - An explanation of the general physics used in the analysis of the weapon including formulae
    - A detailed description of the parts of the weapon and how they work together from a physics point of view including referenced diagrams
    - Some worked mathermatical and descriptive examples to its use for analysis
    - A conclusion summarising your anaylsis of your chosen weapon.

    Now, while I have the topic and structure of it set down I'm still searching for more ways that I can explain how a trebuchet works using physics.

    2. Relevant equations

    I've done equations for the following things: Angular velocity, GPE, KE, Acceleration, Gravity, Projectile Motion, Force, Velocity, Centripetal Force, Centripetal Acceleration.

    I also talk about the following: Friction, Mass, Wind Resistance, Vertical/Horizontal Velocity, Vertical/Horizontal Displacement, Weights etc.

    I know this isn't very advanced seeing how I'm in a final year highschool physics class, but I'm really trying to seperate myself from the pack. I just need to find more things to talk about.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2007 #2
    I think the best thing to do to separate yourself from the pack is do the overview of how it works -- KE, GPE, Forces, and other such basics -- and then go into one specific part of optimizing the apparatus. For example, if you wanted to talk about wind resistance and drag coefficients, you could talk about how more massive objects enter into the nonlinear regime and the trade-off of having a less massive object as opposed to a more massive one (can't destroy castle walls as well).
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