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Underwater Mass Driver

  1. Jul 20, 2009 #1
    I have a question regarding the propagation of ferromagnetic materials via a coil gun or mass driver in an under water environment.

    Would the surrounding water effect the firing and or power of the shot. I know the water resistance is one thing to overcome. I was counting on using this more as a simulation for weightlessness of space anyways.

    So are their any special considerations when building a coil gun that would be used under water?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2009 #2


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    Water resistance is THE thing to overcome; it's orders of magnitude greater than air resistance for a given projectile. Consider that even the most energetic rifle bullets will only penetrate water to a depth of a few feet before running out of momentum (assuming they even survive entry intact).
  4. Jul 20, 2009 #3
    Well you see I expected the water resistance. As I stated I am using this as an example of low gravity environments.

    I was more worried about the possibility of the water and it's diamagnetic properties affecting the magnetic field that propels the ferromagnetic slug.
  5. Jul 20, 2009 #4


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    I shouldn't think so. Ferromagnetism is so much stronger than diamagnetism that any possible adverse effects should pretty well disappear in the noise floor.
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