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Mach 3 spudgun / mass driver

All non-spudgun related discussion goes here such as projects, theories, serious questions, etc. All "off-topic" posts (aka useless posting, determined by moderators) will be removed.
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Mach 3 spudgun / mass driver

Unread postAuthor: amplexus » Sat May 13, 2006 11:14 pm

Has anyone considered building a spudgun using Gerald O'Neils mass driver plans.(he was a physicist and active in promoting space colonies) His prototype built from salvaged magnets from a particle accellerator would accelerate a chunk of 2" plexiglass rod (about the mass of a potato) from zero to mach 3 in less than eight feet. It left the barrell at such a high velocity that the projectile melted due to air friction. Before his death larger versions were planned that would loft stuff into low earth orbit. All you need are a few superconducting magnets and some fast switching electronics. I suspect some potato marketing association might be convinced to fund this for advertising purposes.
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Re: Mach 3 spudgun / mass driver

Unread postAuthor: zvallance1 » Sat May 13, 2006 11:29 pm

oh boy! we can accelerate potato mist thru peoples skulls!
woopee!

but really. if air friction melts solid plexiglass, whats to keep a potato (or ANYTHING for that matter) from just vaporizing!?
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Unread postAuthor: amplexus » Sat May 13, 2006 11:40 pm

Try freezing with liquid nitrogen




Construction and testing of the 2.5m mass driver

SNOW, W. R.ONEILL, G. K. (Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.)
AIAA-1979-2095
Princeton University, and DGLR, International Electric Propulsion Conference, 14th, Princeton, N.J., Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 1979, AIAA 13p.

check out the details
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Unread postAuthor: djt » Sat May 13, 2006 11:41 pm

if it vaporizes then just use something stronger than plexiglass like metal. and even if you did just make something that could make stuff desinegrate at three times the speed of sound then it still sounds cool to me.
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Unread postAuthor: saladtossser » Sat May 13, 2006 11:42 pm

do you know how big a magnet for a linear accelerator is??
here is a hint
Image
what i'm saying is, it will be too big to be any fun...
but it'll still be cool to have one though lol
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Unread postAuthor: Atlantis » Sun May 14, 2006 12:57 am

You do realize ptatoes are not magnetic...I seriously hope you do. Anyways, this has been made in smaller versions, they're called coil guns, you can find plenty of info on the internet, they fire ANYTHING metal. Another method of magnetic propulsion is called a railgun, they pump massive amounts of electricity through 2 rails and it goes through the ammo itself, it welds it to the rails half the time.
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Unread postAuthor: boilingleadbath » Sun May 14, 2006 1:00 am

Would you mind explaining how you plan on exerting a force on a non-ferrous material with a magnet?
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Unread postAuthor: sam_516 » Sun May 14, 2006 5:12 am

y the hell would you want to make a gun the vaporizes wat you shoot
and yes potatos are not maganic so you would not be able to shoot them unless you had a metal wading behind it, and any way GOOOOOOD LUCK MAKING IT
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Unread postAuthor: amplexus » Sun May 14, 2006 11:02 pm

The actual prototype was a foot or so in diameter and 2.5m long it accelerates non-ferrous materials such as Plexiglas or potato by way of a carrier bucket, there are photos of the original on the net. I suspect that a frozen potato will not vaporize although it may cook in flight
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Unread postAuthor: saladtossser » Sun May 14, 2006 11:07 pm

guys, non-ferrous materials can be moved by magnets, just strong ones.
i saw it on discovery so it must be true lol
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Unread postAuthor: amplexus » Sun May 14, 2006 11:37 pm

While it is possible to levitate a spider via paramagnetism it is beyond current magnet technology to toss it at 4000 feet per second. O'Neill's magnets produced a couple of tesla current magnets are up to 35 tesla.
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Unread postAuthor: boilingleadbath » Mon May 15, 2006 3:22 pm

Hmm... ok, it seems to be a feasible story.
So, my question: did it operate as a normal coilgun, or in 'quench-gun' mode?
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Unread postAuthor: amplexus » Mon May 15, 2006 9:45 pm

There were several protypes built by MIT grad students. Mass driver 2 used superconducting magnets in a push pull setup, details and all the math has been published.
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Unread postAuthor: WOW!! » Sat May 27, 2006 12:15 pm

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