Pushing objects over long distances is one of the applications of combustion processes. The force of the thrust causes such objects to reach their destination with impressive speed, which is also accelerated by gravity. Today, we will look at a simple experiment: how to make a homemade cannonto visualise the process of launching projectiles in a practical experience of Newtonian mechanics.
- Photographic roll tube or metal canister.
- Electric lighter.
- Copper wire.
Assembling our homemade cannon
We take the lid of the metal canister or the photographic roll tube, and we fix it with the help of epoxy glue on a base to be able to use it as a central structure for our cannon. We can use a kind of toy car or toy cannon structure, the idea is to fix it completely and use it as a support for our projectile launcher.
Once fixed, we make a couple of holes in the cover with the help of a nail or an awl and pierce these holes with two pieces of copper wire, thus securing our ignition device.
The two ends of the copper wires that go from the flat side of the cover we are going to connect them to the terminals of our electric lighter, we fix the lighter to the back of our assembly and we have our electric lighter ready. small cannonThe only thing left to do is to load it and carry out the projectile launching experience.
In order to fire, we place a few drops of alcohol or a little lighter gas on the roll of film or metal canister in the lid that we fix to the base with wheels, then we fix the tube to the lid, activate the ignition with the electric lighter and we can see how the roll of film shoots forward.
How it works
The combination of fuel or flammable liquid and air inside the closed photographic roll tube generates the ideal conditions for a volatile combustion, thanks to the spark generated by the electric igniter. Once combustion has started, a quantity of gases will be generated which, as they cannot be contained by the jar, will cause the jar to shoot out at an initial speed, generated by the force of the energy given off by the combustion of our little home-made cannon.