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Electromagnetic Propulsion Electromagnetic propulsion may sound like a lofty idea but it is really something that is quite common in ones everyday life Electric motors high-speed particle accelerators levitating trains the Superman ride at Six Flags amusement park and most high load electrical switches all use electromotive force Electromagnetic propulsion may also be the next step big step in space travel The cost of using chemical propellant to put objects into orbit is approximately 8000 to 10000 dollars per pound ATE Using electromotive force one could accelerate an object to escape velocity from the ground for less than 100 dollars per pound There are two basic types of electromagnetic accelerators A rail gun as it is commonly called consists of two rails with a conducting projectile that slides in between the rails completing a circuit The current traveling through the conducting projectile causes an accelerating force known as the Lorenz Force Rail guns are very efficient electromagnetic accelerators but they tend to be unreliable In order for the rail gun to be efficient it requires several thousand volts so the large current can overcome the resistance of the circuit Without a power supply that can provide an extremely high voltage and current frictional drag becomes higher than the accelerating force and the projectile becomes welded to the rails by the resistive heating that occurs Barros An asynchronous linear induction motor the other type of electromagnetic accelerator more commonly known as a coil gun works very differently from the rail gun Coil guns tend to be more reliable and less complex than rail guns Most of my concentration will be on coil gun design First some basic conceptual ideas regarding coil guns should be established A coil gun is essentially an air core solenoid A solenoid is defined as a current-carrying coil of wire that acts like a magnet when a current
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