The Particle Accelerator Approach
Once I thought if would be possible to accelerate a projectile in a circular path until the projectile kinetic energy would be great enough to allow it to leave the circular path in a tangential path, thus ejecting with big speeds. The problem (which I left my brain working out alone) seems to be how to "capture" the projectile in some instant and "fire"it.
The main idea with this system would be to relatively slowly accelerate the projectile in a circular tube until it would reach a high angular speed. Then (somehow), the projectile would be released trough a tangential path and finally "fired".
The (ugly) drawing shows the idea: once the projectile reaches a good speed, it is launched. That's the approach used with atomic particles, maybe there is some way to make it work.
The Electro Mechanical Approach
This one is an approach that I really feel confident about: if we can make a non conductive barrel which will launch a conductive ferrous projectile with some mm/100 slacks between the projectile and the barrel walls (see the picture) with holes positioned in a radial position near the beginning of the coil; in those holes we can put conductive pins in order to allow the current to pass trough it, trough the small air gap (mm/100 length), trough the projectile and trough the coil.
When this conditions occur, obviously using 300 V or more, we can have an automatically triggered coil gun (the projectile size plays an important role here).
As can be seen in the drawing, as the projectile reaches the middle point of the coil, the electric gap becomes open and current flow ceases.
Something great just happened some days ago (in 05/1999). I finally found some good capacitors on a used stuff store: 15 15000µF x 100V (all together more than 1000 Joules - C V^2 / 2). Now I will build a power source, charge maybe a group of 3 groups (of 5 caps in series) in parallel and if all goes right, the thing will be able to fire about 450V to the coil(s) when the projectile "closes" the gap. If it all doesn't melt or blows, it will be fun. If with one goes OK, I'll try with 3 of them.
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This page was last updated on 05/18/99. © 1999 by Lissandro