Trebuchet Experiment

A trebuchet is a type of catapult which was originally constructed back in medieval times. It was commonly utilized back then for launching large rocks or dead bodies either over or at castle 's walls in attempt to break them down or injury whoever was on the other side. Dead bodies were also launched over these walls in aim of scaring one 's enemy who was on the other side (Farrell, 2006). The trebuchet uses Isaac Newton’s laws which are; The greater the mass of the object being accelerated the greater the amount of force needed to accelerate the object and (Pearson science ,2012). The motion of the projectile launched is parabolic and is influenced by factors such as the mass of the counter weight, the length of the pivot arm
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It was observed that the larger the weight of the mass the higher the release velocity was and the the longer distance was. Whilst when the projectile was launched with only a small amount of weight the release velocity was shorter as well as the distance. However the time for each of the masses that were tested stayed at around the same time of 0.8 seconds. Once data was entered into an online simulator it was showed that whilst the time for 100g was calculated to be 0.54 seconds the simulator showed the results of 1.060 seconds this is because the Virtual Trebuchet over predicts the performance of the trebuchet will be. This is because it ignores things such as friction, friction is a force that resists motion (Mittelbach, 2014 ). The projectile itself moves in two directions which are horizontally and vertically and together these components produce the parabolic trajectory. When the styrofoam ball flies through the air there are many different forces acting on it such gravity, the push force from the actual trebuchet itself and friction, all of these forces influenced the components of the projectile. There is a discrepancy between the data as one of these forces which influenced the 2 components of the projectile were not counted on or were over exaggerated creating different results for the between the simulated version and the actual and calculated version of the results. Problems that had occurred during this investigation were that when more weight was added it was harder for the laptop to be able to capture the whole distance that the ball had traveled so it had to constantly be pushed backwards so the whole parabolic motion could be capture. In addition when the projectile was launched it would sometimes hit another object putting it off its path. This investigation could be improved if there was more room for the

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