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Build a Gauss Rifle

[whoosh] [ding] Hi this is Ben Finio with
Science Buddies and this video will show you how to build a Gauss rifle, a fun physics
experiment that uses magnets to launch projectiles at high speeds. All the parts to build one are available in
a kit from Science Buddies. The neodymium magnets included in the kit
are very strong [snap]. Be careful when handling them, and keep them
away from small children, pets, people with pacemakers, and magnetic storage devices like
credit cards and hard drives. Use clear tape to temporarily hold the wooden
dowels in place while you bond them together with wood glue. Make sure you wait for the glue to dry completely
before you start your experiment. Once the glue is dried, place your track so
the glue side is facing down. Take one of your magnets and place it in between
the two wooden dowels. Slide two ball bearings up against one side
of the magnet. Then, take a third ball bearing and gently
roll it against the other side of the magnet [snap]. What just happened? As the first ball approaches, it is pulled
in by the magnet and accelerates. When it collides with the back of the magnet,
its momentum is transferred through the magnet, through the next ball bearing, and to the
final ball bearing, which is launched away because it is not as close to the magnet,
so is not held in place as strongly. You can set up a multi-stage rifle where the
first ball bearing starts a chain reaction and the last one is ejected [snap]. For a science project, you can try changing
a variable like the number of stages or the distance between stages and measure how far
the ball goes when you launch it off a table. A kit with all the parts you need to build
your own Gauss rifle is available from Science Buddies. Visit us at for thousands
of other science and engineering project ideas.

20 thoughts on “Build a Gauss Rifle

  1. I'm working on creating a "rifle" That is using these same components, but amplified however, it's turning out like more of a Gauss musket.

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