The Bulldog Toss

catapult

Energy Analysis of the Catapult

Energy Analysis of the Catapult






When talking of a catapult, it is important to understand the types of energy that go into creating the service it provides. For example, the first form of energy it has is elastic potential energy. The rubber band that connects the launcher to the rest of the catapult creates potential energy by storing the energy from the elasticity of the band. When the band is cut or released, the potential elastic energy is transformed into kinetic energy, in the form of mechanical kinetic energy due to the movement of the item inside the launcher, and vibrational kinetic energy due to the sound of the rubber band snapping. The rubber band’s potential energy also transforms into a little bit of thermal energy as well when it is snapped. As the object, in this case a ball, is moving through the air, it has kinetic energy. When the ball hits the ground, its mechanical kinetic energy is transformed into vibrational kinetic energy due to the sounds it makes when hitting the ground. When the ball finally stops, its vibrational and mechanical kinetic energy has transformed into potential energy, thus concluding the cycle of energy transfers.



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