Press Release 108/2013

The Science of the Slingshot

An Introduction to Science Based on the Technology of the Slingshot
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Pauli, the bear, explains the mechanics of the slingshot. (Drawing: Claus Mattheck, KIT)

As a child, we all constructed slingshots for shooting on empty cans. But a slingshot is much more than a toy. It may also provide access to physics and mechanical engineering. Energy storage, efficiency, and dynamics can be made understandable based on slingshot technology. It is the subject of the latest book of Professor Claus Mattheck, “Die Mechanik der Schleuder – erläutert mit einfühlsamen Worten von Pauli dem Bär” (The Mechanics of the Slingshot – Explained Empathetically by Pauli, the Bear).

 

If we had known as a child how much science and technology are involved in building a slingshot and shooting with it, we would probably have given up downheartedly. It worked somehow, but the result would have been better, if we had known more. The studies made by Professor Claus Mattheck from the Biomechanics Division of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology may help and, at the same time, provide insight into science and engineering.

 

Selection of an appropriate material for the slingshot body provides the opportunity for an excursion to component optimization and the biomechanics of trees. The setup and fixing of the elastic band with the leather bag are connected with materials research, joining techniques, and wear. When shooting, ballistics becomes important: Acceleration, air resistance, and gravity determine the trajectory.

 

All this is covered by the latest book of Claus Mattheck. Clear descriptions are only one part of the book. In-depth investigation of all aspects covered is possible with the help of the theoretical annex that contains basic formulas. High-speed recordings illustrate the acceleration of the bullet, a process of repeated pushing rather than of steady character. Many drawings and diagrams describe the optimum shot and the mistakes that can be made. None the least, safety plays an important role for the protection of the user of the slingshot and his environment.

 

Das Cover des Buches „Die Mechanik der Schleuder – erläutert mit einfühl-samen Worten von Pauli dem Bär“ von Professor Claus Mattheck

The cover of the book “Die Mechanik der Schleuder – erläutert mit einfühlsamen Worten von Pauli dem Bär” (The Mechanics of the Slingshot – Explained Empathetically by Pauli, the Bear) by Professor Claus Mattheck.

 

 

The book “Die Mechanik der Schleuder – erläutert mit einfühlsamen Worten von Pauli dem Bär” (The Mechanics of the Slingshot – Explained Empathetically by Pauli, the Bear) is published by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (ISBN 978-3-923704-83-5, more than 100 pages with colored drawings, 14 cm x 15 cm, paperback, 20 Euros) and may be ordered via the internet.

 

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

jh, 26.08.2013
Contact:

 

Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Inge Arnold
Presse, Kommunikation und Marketing (PKM)
Phone: +49 721 608-22861
Fax: +49 721 608-25080
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The press release is available as a PDF file.