The Influence of Physiscs on the Development of Cannons

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The development of cannons was a significant part of history in wartime and surprisingly, physics. The very motion of a cannon ball is so similar to projectile motion that it isn’t too hard to figure out that there exists a connection between the two. Projectile Motion, which is a part of mechanics, is the motion of an object in a two-dimensional world. Since a cannon travels in these two dimensions, making a similar curve, they are a prime example used in applying concepts of projectile motion. To discover one of the greatest practical use of physics is to identify how physics helped develop the cannon with example, relate it to at least two factors and additionally answer to a self-created research question, “To what extent is Physics applied in developing cannons?” Physics has had a tremendous contribution on the development of cannons. It was as early as 1646 where there are records of physics being used to improve the cannon. The most common uses of the cannons were acts of war and the first time someone applied physics to this concept was at the Siege of Worchester. Nathan Nye, author of the book, ‘The Art of Gunnery’, applied different forms of triangulation, arithmetic, and theoretical mathematics to win this battle using cannons. Naturally, he was a key figure who contributed to the development of cannons (Nye). One of first scientists to form their own theories about the motion of a cannonball was Aristotle. He believed that if a cannon were fired, the vertical motion would be constant in proportion to the weight of the object (“Aristotle vs Galileo”). He also believed that projectiles travel upward and outward in a straight line until they “run out of gas” and then fall straight down. Thi... ... middle of paper ... ...give the military advantage to their respective side. This seemingly unending search for that elusive, perfect projectile continued even after the end of the Civil War (Melton). The development of the cannon has had a large influence on society through a variety of factors. It has evoked physics theories about motion and specifically projectile motion. It has described the factors of this motion such as the acceleration of gravity and the horizontal and vertical velocities. It has had significant economic and ethical impacts on society as discussed. These factors are related to how physics has contributed to the development of the cannon and has given a general overview of the physics behind cannons. The data gathered is sufficient enough to conclude by declaring that physics to a large extent made a contribution to the development of the cannon.

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