History of the Catapult

 

††††††††† The catapult dates back to medieval times when wise men of the era realizedthey could launch large objects a great distance without much effort.The physics lay in the storage of energy in some system, in this case, the catapult.In some cases a counter weight was used to launch a payload, whereas in other cases and as is the case in my project, sturdy rope was wound against itself.In trying to return to an equilibrium point, like a spring, the rope tries to unwind itself and in the process has a tremendous amount of velocity.This can be used to launch a payload many meters as I found out, at the expense of an overhead projector and a couple of light fixtures (oops!!).Who says science isnít exciting!!!

 

Many different designs were used, however the one I chose to use for this project consisted of a simple frame and a swing arm mounted between 2 ropes.The system was wound up and restrained so the arm would travel about 90 degrees and hit an arrestor bar and release its payload.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winding the arm of the catapult.