Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Trebuchet at PSC

Students, as part of the Student Engagement and Enhancement program, built three Trebuchet "engines" this term as part of Paul Hinrichs' Physics Course.

And today, November 20, I took photographs and video of the testing of the Trebuchets the students constructed.

Dr. Paul Hinrichs, who teaches the Physics Class, sent me the following description of the project I filmed:

The physics class built three types of trebuchet this year.  A trebuchet in general is stored potential energy in a counter weight transferred to kinetic energy of a projectile.  

A traditional trebuchet has the counter weight on one end of a throwing arm and a sling with projectile on the other end. The
counter weight then swings through the frame, launching the projectile. Extra motion in the arm after release is lost transfer energy--we made one but it had to be scavenged to fix another.  

The second type of trebuchet is a floating arm trebuchet.  The counter weight falls straight down and the throwing arm glides along a rail through the frame throwing the projectile.  

The final type is a multi-arm trebuchet.  This type results in the
least amount of lost potential energy. The weight falls straight down spinning a multi-radius throwing arm around a fixed axle. The multiple arms allow for an efficient transfer of energy to the projectile.  This type of design has tossed golf balls over half a mile with very little counter weight.  

The projectiles today consisted of  Osage Oranges and small gourds; enjoy the HD Video of the event and even some slow motion:

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