PHYS208 Fundamentals of Physics II

Group Exercise -- Punkin' Chunkin'

[Punkin' chunkin']
This weekend marks the 13th year of the Punkin' Chunkin' contest held in Sussex County, Delaware. The object of this contest is to propel, without use of explosives, an 8 to 10 pound pumpkin as far as possible; the 1996 record was 2,710 feet set by an air cannon from Illinois. This record was retaken by Delaware's Universal Soldier in 1997 with a launch of 3718 feet. There are several categories available: catapult, centrifugal, human-powered, youth, and longest overall toss.
Source: Wilmington News Jounal, Sunday, Oct. 26, 1997.

I propose a new category -- electromagnetic toss. Using the principles of PHYS208 (and PHYS207), design a punkin' chunkin' rail capable of a one-mile toss. Be as specific as possible, taking into consideration physical properties of the pumpkin, ballistics as realistic as possible, and energy sources and dissipation. Remember that your device will be firing in the middle of a cornfield...

Project Guidelines

A Few Additional Resources:

World Championship Punkin' Chunkin' -- official homepage

Snapshots of Punkin' Chunkin'
Wayne Morton's World Championship Punkin' Chunkin' Home Page (Wayne is an alumnus of the Fall'92 class of PHYS208, BS'95 UD Mech Eng.)
Punkin' Chunkin' 1998, from Cool Ocean Breezes

Last updated November 5, 1998.
Copyright George Watson, Univ. of Delaware, 1997.