why is it that the more magnets I put on my homemade gauss rifle, the weaker it is?
The more magnets I put on it, the weaker the final ball leaving the track is. I built the gauss rifle (linear magnetic accelerator) with cube neodymium magnets (enough of them! — 10 super strong magnets) and steel ball bearings the same size as the cube (obviously without the corners). I have done many different trys with it (different spacing, number of balls and magnets, etc) but it doesn’t work!!!! THIS IS FOR SCIENCE FAIR (GRADE 9) AND I REALLY NEED HELP!!!!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!! I HAVE SPENT WELL OVER 20 HOURS OVER THESE PAST TWO WEEKS WORKING ON IT AND I REALLY NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think that the glass marbles may shatter but i’ll give it a try! Also I have tried every spacing (from 1 cm to 1 m and every thing inbetween). It is strange becasue it does the exact opposite of what it is supposed to do/how it is supposed to function. The more magnets I put, the weaker it is!!!!
What’s the largest spacing you’ve tried for this? It’s possible that the gaps are way too small, and the ball doesn’t have enough time to accelerate before hitting the next magnet? Have you tried large gaps, say 8 or 12 inches?
The concept is, when the first ball hits the first magnet, the impact is transmitted through the magnet and the next ball, which knocks the third ball loose. The third ball should start out with the same velocity as the first ball had when it hit, and since it’s further away from the magnet, the force holding it on is weaker. So the ball breaks away, where it is captured by the second magnet’s field, further accelerating it. If the distance is too short, you lose some of the force you should have gotten from the second magnet.
You might also try getting some glass marbles (of a similar size) and
arranging them as: Magnet, marble, ball, space, magnet, marble, ball, space. The ball should hold the marble against the magnet (weakly), so the impact from the first ball should still be transmitted efficiently, but since the marble isn’t conducting the magnetic field, the force holding the ball should be much less, and therefore, as the ball is escaping, it only has to “climb out” of a much weaker magnetic field, yet it still gets the full effect of the next magnet’s field.
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