The Gaussian Cannon

The Gaussian Cannon consists of a sequence of identical steel balls and magnets which lie in a nonmagnetic channel. One steel ball is rolled towards them and collides with the sequence. The ball at the opposite end of the sequence is ejected at a surprisingly high velocity. This project aims to optimize the magnet’s position and other variables for the greatest effect (the highest velocity).

A number of different parameters were investigated: The number of balls after the magnet, number of magnets and magnetic flux density of the magnet were tested in experiments; the position of the balls to the magnet, size of the steel balls and the initial velocity of the first ball were simply observations. Momentum was used to explain the phenomenon and the results from the observations and experiments performed, and to determine under which circumstances the highest velocity would be achieved.

Maria Anghel



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15 september, 2016