Understanding The Physics Behind Archery

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Physics Behind Archery
Physics A Exam Paper
Morgan Avink
11/18/13

The bow and arrow have been around for many years. The bow and arrow were used for wars in the beginning however they were more efficient for hunting and that is what they are continually used for even today with the dangerous substance of gunpowder that could be used. Guns are cool however the physics behind them is nowhere near to the elaborate physics involved in archery. Today we have three common bow types; the longbow, the recurve bow, and the compound bow. Within these three different types of bows physics applies the same to all of these. In archery you take a bow and you knock an arrow to the string (connect the back of the arrow to the string), Then you use your
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The arrow has to have a specific shape, straightness, and mass in order for it to fly correctly and consistently. The shaft of an arrow is a thin material like wood, carbon fiber, or aluminum in a cylindrical shape that has a point on the front called the tip usually made out of metal or something hard enough to penetrate through the target or animal, if bow hunting. At the other end of the shaft there are the fletchings, usually three, which are made from a wide variety of materials including; feathers, natural materials, plastics and metals. These fletchings help stabilize the arrow while it is flying, which is also known as the drag. The very last part of the arrow is at the very end of the arrow right above the fletchings, this is called the nock. It is usually plastic that “clips” onto the string of the bow. The shaft is the main part of the arrow and that is straight. There is a guarantee today that your arrow will be less than the width of a human hair from a straight line. The straighter the arrow the less change in trajectory there will be which also allows it to be accurate. The center of mass of the arrow is a major factor in the flight of the arrow, the center of mass needs to be towards the front of the arrow so that the distance that the arrow flies will increase. The further the center of mass is away from the center of drag will decrease speed but make the arrow fly better. A bow provides an arrow with momentum, where momentum is defined as mass x velocity. Another key thing involved the arrow is its stiffness or spine, the arrow needs to be able to bend around the bow when it is accelerating so it can shoot straight but won’t break. It is almost impossible to figure out the dynamic degree to which an arrow is bent, but you can find the static degree pretty easily. It is very similar to finding the tension, except you don’t have to

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