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The Physics of slingshots

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jacob elkins

on 27 March 2011

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Transcript of The Physics of slingshots

The Physics of
Slingshots By: Jacob Elkins with a slingshot, the kinetic energy of the object in motion is gained from the elastic potential energy of the stretched rubberband(or other substance such as tubing) and elasticity of the frame.
The formula to find elastic
potential energy is
1/2KX 2 And for kinetic energy
the formula is
1/2mv 2 _ This diagram shows
how elastic potential
energy works these formulas state 2 things:
1. potential energy is directly related to spring constant, and distance stretched
2. Kinetic energy is depandant on the mass of the object, and the speed the object is moving Energy The energy a slingshot uses is converted between three
types, elastic potential, kinetic, and gravitational potential
energy once the projectile is fired. Mythbusters! With a normal slingshot, a fairly easy to stretch elastic is used, so that anyone can fire it without having to be super strong, but the elastic is still strong enough to fire a object with a small mass, like a marble. However, when they fire off a person sized projectile, they need extremely thick elastics, and they had to use two trucks to pull back the cords! This difference in strength is a great example of spring constant (K). A large k value would mean a hard to pull back elastic, while a small k value would mean a easy to pull back elastic What happens once you
fire your projectile as the object moves through the air, forces such as gravity, air resistance, and energy loss (from being converted to other forms) slow the object down however, before this can completly stop the projectile, it usually collides with somthing to make it stop. this will result in one of the two basic types of collisions. Elastic Inelastic an elastic collision is a collision where
the two colliding objects rebound off of each other On mythbusters, they did an episode on slingshots, so of course I had to watch it! The myth they tested was to see if they could launch a human sized projectile far enough to get over the border, but first they decided to try out some regular slingshots to see what kind of speed they could get a metal ball bearing to go with just a regular slingshot. They recorded the ball going 85 miles per hour, but stated that for a person that used a slingshot regularly in competitions ect, that could be doubled! on this note, id like to say thanks for listening, and
I hope you know a little bit more about the physics behind how a slingshot, or any other device using elastics to fire a projectile works! An inelastic collision is a colission when the two colliding objects stick together, an example of this would be a bullet hitting a piece of bullet proof glass, and sticking onto it
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