Ty Stubbs ’19, William “Chris” Crawford ’20
Advisor: Steve Alexander, Professor of Physics
NASA spends billions of dollars researching and launching satellites into orbit using non-reusable resources like ammonium perchlorate commonly known as rocket propellent. We propose a new method of launch, using an induced magnetic field created by high-velocity currents to accelerate a projectile merely instantaneously. We are combining theoretical principles commonly practiced in Physics II and Electromagnetism know as the Lorentz force. A 1.0 x 10^5 microfarad capacitor bank will induce the high-velocity current producing an electromagnetic field. There will be an aluminum armature contacting the two parallel copper rods that will complete the circuit. This aluminum armature is known as a plasma armature because when the capacitor bank is discharged the current will melt the aluminum instantly allowing theoretically perfect transfer of energy. Rudimentary calculations show in a perfect transformation of energy the projectile should have a muzzle velocity of 661 meters per second. Confirmation of success will be to achieve 30% transformation or muzzle velocity of 198 meters per second, neglecting air resistance.