# FAQ: How Do Catapults Work Physics?

A catapult works because energy can be converted from one type to another and transferred from one object to another. When you let go, this stored energy is released, converted into energy of motion and transferred to the missile (the launched object), which then flies through the air.

## How do catapults work?

Both catapults and ballistas work by storing tension either in twisted ropes or in a flexed piece of wood (in the same way an archery bow does, but on a larger scale). A trebuchet tends to be easier to build because it consists simply of a pivoting beam and a counterweight that rotates the beam through an arc.

## What forces are at work in a catapult?

A catapult is a launching device that allows us to experimentally observe projectile motion (see Figure 1). Once the ball is launched, the only forces acting are gravity and air resistance.

## What are the mechanics of a catapult?

A catapult uses the sudden release of stored potential energy to propel its payload. Most convert tension or torsion energy that was more slowly and manually built up within the device before release, via springs, bows, twisted rope, elastic, or any of numerous other materials and mechanisms.

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## What type of energy is used in a catapult?

For a catapult, potential energy is stored as elastic energy. This energy results from the force put in as the muscu- lar push or pull needed to stretch, bend, or twist some sort of elastic material that is attached to the throwing arm. For a trebuchet, the potential energy is gravitational.

## Are catapults used today?

Catapults evolved from simple slingshots to siege weapons. Today, catapults can be used to launch airplanes from aircraft carriers, or to demonstrate physics and mathematics to students.

## What are the 3 main types of catapults?

Many different types of catapults were invented and used. Three of the most common were the ballista, the mangonel, and the trebuchet.

## What are the 5 types of catapults?

The main types of catapults used were the trebuchet, mangonel, onager, and ballista.

## How a catapult is a lever?

A catapult is a lever, a stick or beam propped up by a fulcrum (a pivoting point). A lever will magnify the force you put on it if the fulcrum (the pivoting point) is closer to your force than it is to the load. The catapult magnifies your force to throw a pompom in this activity.

## How do you build a catapult in physics?

Simple craft stick catapult:

1. Stack five craft sticks together and wrap a rubber band around each end.
2. Stack two craft sticks and wrap a rubber band around only one end.
3. Slide the five sticks in-between the two sticks, as shown.
4. Wrap a rubber band where the two sections meet to hold the catapult together.

## How do Ballistas work?

A ballista was a weapon invented by the ancient Greeks to launch an object a considerable distance. When the arms were pulled back, the ropes twisted around a wench, building tension. Once the tension was released by letting go of the arms, the ropes unwound and the object launched into the air.

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## What replaced the catapult?

The catapult was replaced by the more effecive Trebuchet which could launch projectiles over even longer distances. The Trebuchet was also easier to build.

## What is energy stored in food called?

Chemical energy is simply energy that is stored in compounds or elements, specifically in the atomic bonds that connect atoms and molecules. In food, it’s a form of potential energy because it’s stored away.

## Do marshmallows have energy?

Now we can calculate the food energy in the marshmallow: The molar mass of sucrose is 342.3 g/mol, so the energy per gram is -5643.8 kJ/mol / 342.3 g/mol = 16.49 kJ/g. In the 7.5 g marshmallow, remembering that 1 dietary Calorie is 4.184 kJ, we have 7.5 g x 16.49 kJ/g x (1 Cal / 4.184 kJ) = 29.6 Cal.