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Originally posted by whatukno
Anyone ever thought of using a series of these rotating magnetic fields to launch a projectile? I wonder what would happen if you say put like 15 of them in a series and put some sort of slug in the middle.
RailGuns are by far the most spectacular type of electromagnetic accelerators ever developed.
They hold the record for fastest object accelerated of a significant mass, for the 16000m/s firing of a .1 gram object by Sandia National Research Laboratories' 6mm Hypervelocity Launcher, and they can also propel objects of very sizeable masses to equally impressive velocities, such as in the picture to the left, where Maxwell Laboratories' 32Megajoule gun fires a 1.6kilogram projectile at 3300m/s (that's 9megajoules of kinetic energy!) at Green Farm research facility.
Their ability to propel objects at speeds which are simply impossible for conventional (chemical or mechanical) means makes them extremely useful for a range of functions.
The most obvious one being defense, where most of the research money in this area comes from nowadays, but NASA has also been funding RailGun research for hypervelocity impact simulations which will allow shields to be developed which will protect orbiting aircraft from high velocity debris surrounding the earth.
NASA is also researching the possibility of a launcher which would deliver payloads into orbit at a fraction of the cost of a rocket launch. Similarly, other studies are under progress for the utilization of RailGuns in Fusion Fuel pellet Injectors for experimental nuclear fusion reactors, and also for metallurgical bonding; the University of Texas (UT) in Austin, identified that the Electromagnetic Powder Deposition (by a railgun) process is capable of achieving a coating of deposit material with bond strength equal to the base material while achieving less than 3% porosity.
This should soon become a repair method for jet engine components, as similar processes are also being employed to produce extremely high shock pressures on collisions between dissimilar materials in an attempt to produce new materials.
Originally posted by Neon Haze
This already exists.
It's called a rail gun and is V v v Dangerous.
Says it all really in the above.
All the best,