A Tabletop Demonstration Railgun

Intro Theory Construction
Power Source Rails Projectiles Injection Our Results Go To
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The projectile is injected at less than 25 fps (the approximate lower limit of our speed-measuring equipment) and it is coming out approximately 200 fps. The speed was attempted to be measured with an optical timer device intended for measuring the speed of rifle bullets. The measurements were unsuccessful, we believe due to the flash of light from the firing of the gun. Only once was a measurement obtained - 231 fps. We were unable to make a current measurement because we did not have a current monitor with low enough gain to output a low enough voltage to send through attenuators into an oscilloscope. Overall, however, the project did demonstrate the principle behind a railgun, and therefore was successful.

NOTE: The AVIs have been removed from this mirror

Hopefully, someday we will be able to continue this series of experiments. I would like to build a new gun setup that would be enclosed around the rails, trapping the plasma created (allowing experimentation with a plasma armature). This setup would have an integrated speed- measuring system, and we would also find a way to measure the current waveform.
Starting with approximately the same capacitor bank as we have now, I would like to scale the power back, and experiment with lower power levels, trying for higher efficiency.