An investigation of the static force balance of a model railgun
Schroeder, Matthew K.
Maier, William B.
MetadataShow full item record
An interesting debate in railgun research circles is the location, magnitude, and cause of recoil forces, equal and opposite to the launched projectile. The various claims do not appear to be supported by direct experimental observation. The goal of this research paper is to develop an experiment to observe the balance of forces in a model railgun in a static state. By mechanically isolating the electrically coupled components of such a model it has been possible to record the reaction force on the rails and compare that force with the theoretical force on a projectile. The research is ongoing but we have observed that the magnitude of the force on the armature is at least seventy times greater than any predicted equal and opposite reaction force on the rails.