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ERIC Number: EJ943485
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
Video Measurement of the Muzzle Velocity of a Potato Gun
Jasperson, Christopher; Pollman, Anthony
Physics Education, v46 n5 p607-612 Sep 2011
Using first principles, a theoretical equation for the maximum and actual muzzle velocities for a pneumatic cannon was recently derived. For a fixed barrel length, this equation suggests that the muzzle velocity can be enhanced by maximizing the product of the initial pressure and the volume of the propellant gas and decreasing the projectile mass. The present paper describes the results of experiments conducted to verify the validity of this theoretical equation. A high-speed video camera was used to quantify muzzle velocity for potatoes of varying mass exiting a pneumatic cannon for gauge pressures ranging from 310 to 830 kPa. The experiments verified that a friction modified version of the theoretical equation is qualitatively and quantitatively accurate for potato masses above 100 g. (Contains 5 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A