John Loree Project Plan: 4/7

Sources and Resources:

1: Introduction to Electrodynamics by David J. Griffiths





6: Vassar College Laboratory technicians and resources as referred to by Professor Magnes

note: sources and citations may change as data is accrued and decided if needed

Models and Experiments:

The generated magnetic field in the railgun will be modeled using the biot-savart law, ampere’s law, and Faraday’s law. Upon creating and modeling the changing magnetic fields as a function of time, loop size and current, the force upon a slug will then be modeled using the Lorentz force law. As a result of these calculations, we can approximate the theoretical velocity at the end of the rail.

We then intend to build a functional  small scale railgun and test fire it. When testing, we will calculate the velocity upon leaving the rails, and the loss in energy of the projectile over its flight relative to the theoretical values calculated using the models from earlier in the project. Upon the calculation of relative efficiency and accuracy of theoretical models, we will compare our data & values to other railguns that have been produced.


April 16th: complete modeling of the magnetic field as a function of time using mathematica.

April 16th-23rd: construct small scale railgun for test fire with Elias Kim

April 20th: Model the force and velocities of the slug using mathematica.

April 21st: provide the theoretical velocity & range of our small scale railgun

April 22nd: post preliminary data on site using either LaTEX or Mathematica

April 27th: compare theoretical values of railgun to experimental values, upon calculation of relative efficiency of the two reactions, compare our model other railguns constructed.

April 30th and May 1st: prepare presentation and submit final blog


I will be collaborating with Elias Kim in this project. While I am modeling the magnetic field, induction and force in the railgun, Elias will model the circuitry and current in the railgun. We will then collaborate to generate equations of motion, build the small scale gun and calculate its efficiency. We will regularly collaborate and discuss our projects. However as the project progresses, our roles may shift to split the work evenly between the two of us.


1 thought on “John Loree Project Plan: 4/7

  1. Avatar photoJenny Magnes

    It would be good to have a plan of a railgun. What is the mathematical frame work you are planning on using? Looking at your collaborators post, it seemed that he was going to model the magnetic field or the force associated with the B-field. Maybe you can clarify.

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