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  #1  
Old 12-31-2005, 07:03 PM
whoajcik17 whoajcik17 is offline
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Default 9th grd. sci. fair proect. Nothing 2 do w/ humans, animals, or fungi.

I am in ninth grade and i need ideas for a science fair project
Please, if you have any ideas, feel free to leave them.
Preferably nothing to do with humans, animals, or fungi.
Maybe something with engineering, electricity or physics?
Something that won't take too long to do, maybe a couple days?
And also something that won't be too costly for the materials.
Not too advanced though, something simple that will get me at least a B.
Thanks for everything
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2005, 10:35 PM
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I have suggested this so many times but you could do a guass rifle.The Gauss Rifle:
A Magnetic Linear Accelerator

This very simple toy uses a magnetic chain reaction to launch a steel marble at a target at high speed. The toy is very simple to build, going together in minutes, and is very simple to understand and explain, and yet fascinating to watch and to use.

Click on image for animated view

The photo above shows six frames of video showing the gauss rifle in action. Each frame shows 1/30th of a second. In the first frame, a steel ball starts rolling towards a magnet taped to a wooden ruler. In the second frame, a second ball can be seen speeding between the rightmost two magnets. By the third frame, the accelerator has sped up so much that the ball that is seen leaving the left side of the device is just a blur as it smashes into the target. One ball, starting at rest, has caused another ball to leave the device at a very high speed.

Click on image for larger view

The materials are simple. We need a wooden ruler that has a groove in the top in which a steel ball can roll easily. Any piece of wood or aluminum or brass with a groove will work. We chose the ruler because they are easy to find around the house or at school or at a local stationery store.

We need some sticky tape. Again, almost any kind will do. Here we use Scotch brand transparent tape, but vinyl electrical tape works just as well.

We need four magnets. Most any type will do, but the stronger the magnets are, the faster the ***** will go. Here we use the super strong gold-plated neodymium-iron-boron magnets we have made available in our catalog for the other projects. They work great.

We will also need nine steel *****, with a diameter that is a close match to the height of the magnets. We use 5/8 inch diameter nickel plated steel ***** from our catalog.

The only tool we will need is a sharp knife for trimming the tape.


Click on image for larger view

We start by taping the first magnet to the ruler at the 2.5 inch mark. The distance is somewhat arbitrary -- we wanted to get all four magnets on a one foot ruler. Feel free to experiment with the spacing later.


Click on image for larger view

With the sharp knife, trim off any excess tape. Be careful, since the knife will be strongly attracted to the magnet.

It is very important that you keep the magnets from jumping together. They are made of a brittle sintered material that shatters like a ceramic. Tape the ruler to the table temporarily, so that it doesn't jump up to the next magnet as you tape the second magnet to the ruler.


Click on image for larger view

Continue taping the magnets to the ruler, leaving 2.5 inches between the magnets.

When all four magnets are taped to the ruler, it is time to load the gauss rifle with the *****.


Click on image for larger view

To the right of each magnet, place two steel *****. Arrange a target to the right of the device, so the ball does not roll down the street and get lost.

To fire the gauss rifle, set a steel ball in the groove to the left of the leftmost magnet. Let the ball go. If it is close enough to the magnet, it will start rolling by itself, and hit the magnet.


Click on image for larger view

When the gauss rifle fires, it will happen too fast to see. The ball on the right will shoot away from the gun, and hit the target with considerable force. Our one foot long version is designed so the speed is not enough to hurt someone, and you can use your hand or foot as a target.





How does it do that?

When you release the first ball, it is attracted to the first magnet. It hits the magnet with a respectable amount of force, and a kinetic energy we will call "1 unit".

The kinetic energy of the ball is transfered to the magnet, and then to the ball that is touching it on the right, and then to the ball that is touching that one. This transfer of kinetic energy is familiar to billiards players -- when the cue ball hits another ball, the cue ball stops and the other ball speeds off.

The third ball is now moving with a kinetic energy of 1 unit. But it is moving towards the second magnet. It picks up speed as the second magnet pulls it closer. When it hits the second magnet, it is moving nearly twice as fast as the first ball.

The third ball hits the magnet, and the fifth ball starts to move with a kinetic energy of 2 units. It speeds up as it nears the third magnet, and hits with 3 units of kinetic energy. This causes the seventh ball to speed off towards the last magnet. As it gets drawn to the last magnet, it speeds up to 4 units of kinetic energy.

The kinetic energy is now transfered to the last ball, which speeds off at 4 units, to hit the target.





Another way of looking at the mechanism

When the device is all set up and ready to be triggered, we can see that there are four ***** that are touching their magnets. These ***** are at what physicists call the "ground state". It takes energy to move them away from the magnets.

But each of these ***** has another ball touching it. These second ***** are not at the ground state. They are each 5/8ths of an inch from a magnet. They are easier to move than the ***** that are touching the magnet.

If we were to take a ball that was touching a magnet, and pull it away from the magnet until it was 5/8ths of an inch away, we would be adding energy to the ball. The ball would be pulling towards the magnet with some considerable force. We could get the energy back by letting the ball go.

After the gauss rifle has fired, the situation is different. Now each of the ***** is touching a magnet. There is one ball on each side of each magnet. Each ball is in its ground state, and has given up the energy that was stored by being 5/8ths of an inch from a magnet. That energy has gone into the last ball, which uses it to destroy the target.





Speed and kinetic energy

The kinetic energy of an object is defined as half its mass times the square of its velocity. As each magnet pulls on a ball, it adds kinetic energy to the ball linearly.

But the speed does not add up linearly. If we have 4 magnets, the kinetic energy is 4, but the speed goes up as the square root of the kinetic energy. As we add more magnets, the speed goes up by a smaller amount each time. But the distance the ball will roll, and the damage it causes to what it hits, is a function of the kinetic energy, and thus a function of how many magnets we use.

We can keep scaling up the gun until the kinetic energy gets so high that the last magnet is shattered by the impact. After that, adding more magnets will not do much good.
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Genesis chapter 1 verses 1-5
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2006, 10:54 AM
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Lightbulb Sounds cool!

I mean that project is ( what do they say in this new generation?) "off the hook?"
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