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Engineering: Using Newton's Laws of Motion

Author(s): Gregory L. Vogt, EdD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, Michael T. Vu, MS, and Nancy P. Moreno, PhD.

Catapults: Powering Projectiles

Throughout history, warriors and hunters have developed weapons to aid in their battles and pursuit of food. War machines, in particular, have been a focus of technological innovation. As warfare grew more complex, so did weapons. Javelins and boomerangs were tools for both hunting and war. Another device, the atlatl, extended the throwing arm and greatly increased throwing force. Eventually, catapults were invented. Catapults harness physical and/or mechanical energy to launch projectiles. Examples of catapults include slingshots, hurling devices used in castle sieges, and even steam-powered machines that launch airplanes off aircraft carriers.

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Funded by the following grant(s)

National Science Foundation

Grant Number: DRL-1028771