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DIY vacuum cannon uses atmospheric pressure as fuel

March 16, 2017

What can you make with wood scraps, PVC pipe, and aluminum foil?

What can you make with wood scraps, PVC pipe, and aluminum foil? If you are YouTuber NightHawkInLight, then you create a powerful vacuum cannon capable of exploding a watermelon. Using atmospheric pressure, this cannon requires no fuel or compressed air to turn everyday objects into fast-moving projectiles.

According to David Grossman for Popular Mechanics: "The neat thing about this project is that it shows off core components of Newtonian physics, specifically Newton's Second Law, in a really easy way to visualize.

Newton's Second Law states that the rate of change of momentum of a body is directly proportional to the force applied, and this change in momentum takes place in the direction of the applied force. With no fuel, the cannon uses both the force of the sealed vacuum and the weight of the Earth's atmosphere to fire off the projectile and the PVC pipe guides the direction of the applied force."

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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