PHYSICS 103: Trebuchet Wars

Materials and designs are from your own choosing, but the budget is limited to $20 per group.

The competition will be held in the lawn in front of Spencer Hall/Woods Lab.

The trebuchets will be brought fully disassembled and will have to be assembled in front of the judges in under 10 minutes.

The objective is to land your projectile (tennis ball) inside a circle of 2 m in diameter . The center of the landing circle is at 15 m (= 50 feet) from the axis of rotation of the trebuchet.

Each group may try up to 3 attempts. To earn top landing score you will have to repeat the "winning" shot (one of the main drawbacks of early trebuchets was that after firing a shot the apparatus would not reproduce the same shot without adjustements). The physical principles of the trebuchet can be found in the Scientific American article posted.

The main idea is to efficiently convert Potential Energy of the falling counterweight ==> rotational kinetic energy of the beam ==> kinetic and gravitational potential energies of the projectile.

Scoring: Assembly + Accuracy + Precision + Consistency

Assembly= (10-AssemblyTime(in minutes) ) * 100;

Accuracy = (5-LandingDistanceBestShot (in meters to center of target circle) ) * 100

Precision = (Number of shots (out of the 3 attempts) that landed in target circle )*100

Consistency = +500 bonus points if best shot is repeated within a meter