2018 BFY III Abstract Detail Page
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||Modeling the effect of air intake aperture size on the muzzle velocity of a ping pong ball cannon
||The PVC-pipe-based ping pong ball cannon is commonly used to demonstrate the large forces that arise from pressure differentials surrounding an object. In the experiments reported on here, previous theoretical descriptions for this demonstration are revisited and extended to describe the effect of aperture size on the rate of air flow into the cannon. This extended treatment is mostly analytic, though there is a small but necessary numerical aspect to our analysis. Using this new approach, I intend to mold this demonstration into an experiment for use in an undergraduate Thermal Physics course. Experimentally, students would measure muzzle velocity as a function of the aperture size of the air intake. For the theoretical treatment, students would be guided through the development of the analytic pieces of this analysis. They will then write code in Python to bring these analytic pieces together and develop theoretical predictions for the muzzle velocity as a function of aperture size. These predictions would then be compared to the experimental measurements.
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