66% or better

Gauss Weapons

This collection of gauss weapons use rare earth magnets to accelerate projectiles to damaging speeds. They work using the same concepts as a coil gun, but instead of just one projectile travelling along a length of guide track, there are many projectiles that work in a chain reaction. A series of magnets are placed at equal distances along the track. Each has a couple of large ball bearings on the muzzle side of the magnet. The first ball bearing is fired using mechanical force – like a spring mechanism – and accelerates as it approaches the magnet due to the attractive force of that magnetic field. When it impacts the magnet it sends one of the ball bearings on the opposite side down the track where it will accelerate when it nears the next magnet in the chain. The weapon above achieves a final projectile speed of about 68 miles per hour, breaking six fluorescent tubes in a row on at the right side of the apparatus.

Still prefer rail guns that use electromagnets? Check out this gauss pistol kit that is about as powerful as a BB gun.

Comments

  1. ho0d0o says:

    This is such a funky coincidence! I was just playing the final part of Crysis on my new (i7-2630 gt 540) and finally got the gauss rifle! Yay for gauss weapons!

  2. MrX says:

    Now, next step: Make the system work in closed loop transferring the motion to external muzzles. Ideas?

  3. yetihehe says:

    Don’t rare earth magnets lose their magneticity when stricken? Also coil gun can be easily repeatable. Here you have to reposition all those balls.

    PS. This is a gun only for people with balls of steel.

  4. Patrick G says:

    Great way to get cancer busting fluorescent tubes
    numb nut!

  5. biozz says:
  6. biozz says:

    @Patrick G
    a florescent bulb has 1/100th the mercury of a small thermometer
    probably less mercury than an american tuna salad :P

  7. Bushi says:

    @biozz
    Good point about the mercury content but why do you specify american tuna salad. It’s not as if america grows their tuna locally.

  8. Eikka says:

    I’ve been toying around with the idea of a compulsator gun.

    It’s basically two three-phase motors wired together. One motor has permanent magnetization and a flywheel. This is the compulsator.

    The second is a linear motor with a piece of metal between the coils.

    You spin the first motor up to very high speed and then SLAM the connectors to the second motor, and this should deliver a very large high frequency pulse of energy to power the gun.

    The faster you get the compulsator to spin, the faster you can get the projectile out. More magnetic poles also make for a higher frequency and thus higher running speed.

  9. biozz says:

    @Bushi
    oh its an old report (2005 ish?) showing american caught tuna have the highest mercury content in the world … im not sure how factual that report was but i found it funny

  10. M@ says:

    That first video features Zoz Brooks, of Prototype This fame. I’ve been wondering what he’s been up to. I worked with him on an episode of the show, and his prototyping skills were monumental. I’d always suspected he’d be back on TV soon.

  11. MrX says:

    @biozz I remember reading it somewhere also, it even went further and said there was american people actually getting heavy metal poisoning of so much eating tuna.

  12. andrew says:

    How much faster does each successive stage fire its projectile? The video makes it sound simple like, speed = speed_of_first_stage * num_stages but that seems unlikely.

  13. Taylor Alexander says:

    Someone needs to do this but with a Tesla Coil wirelessly lighting up the tubes before they blow. That would be awesome.

    I think I will do that. :)

  14. biozz says:

    @MrX
    i eat only Californian albacore when i get tuna as the FCC claims its mercury level is far lower than east cost tuna
    damn this vieared off topic XD

  15. biozz says:

    i meant FDA*
    we need an ability to edit comments here

  16. Power Supply says:

    Let me get this straight. Basically when the ball hits the magnet, it destroys the magnetism in the magnet slightly so that the last ball can leave the magnetic field with a bit of a gain in kinectic energy? This would have to be the case since if the magnetic field were to remain at the same strength there would be not net gain in energy and the last ball would leave at a lower velocity then the first, due to friction. Am I right in saying that?

  17. Power Supply says:

    sorry *kinetic energy

  18. Jordan says:

    @Power Supply:
    Not quite. Imagine something like this:

    O xOOO

    Where O=ball and x=magnet. The O closest to the x is attracted very strongly. The next O isn’t, and the last one is barely attracted. (Weak enough that if you tilt the apparatus it falls, but strong enough it stays there when horizontal.)

    When the first O hits the x:

    O –> xOOO

    it sends its force through until the last O gets knocked off:

    OxOO —> O

    Its knocked off with greater force because as the first O gets closer to the x, it speeds up.

    If this is laid out over and over (on a rail, hence the name: rail gun), then the overall speed increases.

    On a side note, I used to do this with my MagnetiX sets all the time :D

  19. andrew says:

    @Power Supply,

    I think about it in terms of the force of the impact overcoming the magnetic force holding the ball there.

  20. Hirudinea says:

    I have just one question, when does the DOD money start flowing in?

    @biozz – The FCC regulates tuna now? Would that be a TV tuna! :)

  21. biozz says:

    @Hirudinea
    no, radio tuna

  22. Eikka says:

    A gauss gun like this works a bit like a lumpy hill where each successive ball rests against a hump that stops it from rolling down the hill on its own.

    Each ball knocks the next over the hump, adding more than enough energy to set the ball rolling down the potential energy hill towards the next magnet and ball.

    The total energy at the last ball is the potential energy each ball had in respect to the next magnet, minus the amount of energy required to free each ball from their resting magnet, plus the amount you added by pushing the first ball.

  23. Fritoeata says:

    If you calculated the gravitational drop over the 10in(?)between the stages, you could eliminate a good deal of the drag associated with the guide material… maybe a 10-60% gain in efficiency(?)

    i just swag’d that number but whatever, it’s worth a try!

  24. Eikka says:

    And yes, magnets do lose strenght when you hammer away at them.

    Not because they give off energy, but because you impart work into the magnet to change the spins of the electrons that give rise to the magnetic field.

    Part of the energy of the ball hitting the magnet is lost to the magnet. The work done re-arranges the tiny magnetic domains into a more or less random configuration. You have to add work because turning the magnetic domains “against the grain” requires force. They try to turn back into the field.

    But once you’ve managed to do so to most of them, the domains will make tiny loops and swirls and wiggles and the magnetic field will be contained completely inside the piece. The magnet is no more, and the energy you expended turns to heat as the magnetic domains snap into their new directions.

    Changing this random configuration again requires work because now you have to break those loops and wiggles as they try to maintain themselves, and again the same thing happens. Once you get them all to snap in the same direction, the energy is released as vibration on the atomic level – heat.

    So you’re never going to get energy out of a magnet. In fact, to do so you would actually need to extract the energy out of the spin field of the electrons themselves, because that’s the source of the magnetic field and its energy. It’s all there all the time, you’re just re-arranging it.

  25. my name says:

    what happens when smart guys needlessly expose themselves to mercury vapour from broken fluorescent tubes?

    answer. mouth ulcers, skin blisters, bleeding gums, hair loss, uncontrolled salivation, tooth loss, hearing loss, mental impairment, memory loss,loss of appetite, insomnia, tremors, visual disturbances etc etc…

  26. Volfram says:

    CORRECTIONS

    The sidelinked project is a coilgun. Railguns only very recently left hypothetical territory and operate under an entirely different principal. Grammar arguments on the other post are one thing, but a blog run by geeky people really shouldn’t be making a mistake like that.

  27. lurker says:

    I’ve played with coil and rail guns in the past, and studied enough of the theory to know that it’s sound. This, however, seems more more like some kind of perpetual motion voodoo… Although it MAY be possible to get usable energy out of this type of setup, as stated above, you’d be destroying your magnets in the process with diminishing returns after each shot. If you really want to use magnets, get some pencil-eraser sized NdFeB supermagnets and use them as coil-gun ammo – They blow iron slugs out of the water with the massively increased coupling effect.

    …and HAD, do your math. 68mph is crap – That translates to 100 FPS. When I used to play paintball, our technologically craptacular guns were set from 265-300 FPS, depending on the fielld… That translates to getting shot with a marble ~200 mph – A little painful, but oh so much fun…

  28. hammy says:

    @my name you gotta learn to read the rest of the comments above you first ~ ~

  29. Jehu says:

    @my name. Sounds a bit like an average Friday night at a pub.

  30. Luke says:

    I want to see a home-made gas gun like this one:
    https://www.llnl.gov/str/Holmes.html
    Certainly seems like a dangerous project, but an awesome one. These guns generate extremely high velocities, not boring 60mph. Gauss and railguns are so boring, so much energy for so little velocity.

  31. Power Supply says:

    @lurker I agree. The energy used to accelerate the balls has to come from somewhere and the destruction of the magnetic field is the only place I can see it coming from. Otherwise it would be perpetual motion.

  32. Harvie says:

    such geniuses – breaking series of fluorescent tubes with lots of toxic fumes (and maybe even some radioactive dust).

  33. Karl says:

    How do magnets work?

  34. nobilisreed says:

    The energy comes from the accumulated potential energy of the configuration of the balls.

    O = ballbearing
    M = magnet

    Initial configuration:

    O…..MOO..MOO..MOO..MOO….

    In this configuration, ball bearings 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 (counting from the left) are held some distance away from their closest magnet.

    Final configuration:

    …..OMO..OMO..OMO..OMO….. >>>>O

    At this point, ball bearings 1, 3, 5, and 7 are now closer to a magnet than they were before, and bearings 2, 4, 6 and 8 are no further away. MOst of the potential energy from the positions of ball bearings 1, 3, 5, and 7 have been transferred to ball bearing 9, with a small amount lost along the way to heating the apparatus.

    This is high school physics, folks. Nobody should graduate without knowing how figure this out.

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