"A whole new world…"

Posted by on Feb 1, 2008 in Blog

With the appropriately Disney image of Aladdin and Jasmin singing to each other on a magical flying carpet firmly lodged in your brains – to business!

I have come to accept that technology is cool. super cool. Uber cool. etc. And I love it. I love it like a puppy loves a sock, like a pelican loves fish, like a fat man love burgers. Fascination abounds with child-like intrigue as each new item brings a mental cry of “shiny, SHINY!”.

So.

Henceforth, I shall hereby focus the entries to be found herein on the ever widening field of technology. Let the blogs begin!

With the War in Iraq going on strong, the various military departments around the globe are feverishly working to develop the next best thing. The US Department of the Navy has done just that. Straight from the pages of your favorite sci-fi novel, I give you – THE RAIL GUN!

Arnold Schwarzenegger movies aside, the Rail gun is not yet in production. This test shows the gun operating at only 1/3 power! The basic principles are these: A rail gun uses electrical power, passed through a conductive projectile to generate a magnetic field. The magnetic field generated by the projectile acts perpendicular to the field generated by the two rails on either side of it basically causing the two magnetic fields to push against each other like two champion Sumo wrestlers and accelerate the projectile several times faster than the speed of sound.

The projectile is a solid slug with no explosive or combustible materials used. The flames you see in the video are roughly equivalent to the flames you see around meteors as they enter the atmosphere (the air itself is burning due to the friction caused by the projectile moving so damn fast!). The explosion is caused by the dissipation of kinetic energy when the projectile hits its target. This test fired the 3 1/2 Kg projectile at roughly 5,640 mph or 8,270 feet per second (a little more than Mach 7, though my math could be off)!

This gun is projected to be capable of firing a projectile over 200 miles to hit a target of 5 meter diameter. Imagine being able to shoot something 66 times past the horizon (given that the horizon at sea level is 3 miles away) – that’s like being in New York and shooting something in DC! Or being in London and shooting something in Paris! (finally!)

Just insane – very cool though!

More video:

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