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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Mark Masters


Department of Physics

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne


The goal of this project is to construct and optimize a low voltage gauss gun; essentially a series of solonoids that when powered produce a magnetic field that propels a projectile at high velocities.

In order to produce the currents needed to create the magnetic field in the coil, capacitors are charged using a boost converter (an inductor circuit that steps up voltage, thereby acting as the direct current version of the AC step up transformer.). When the capacitors are discharged through the coil there is a large current for a brief time forming a magnetic field that can be used to pull a projectile towards the center of the coil. LEDs and photodiodes are positioned in the space between each coil, acting as sensors that can switch the coils on and off, using comparator circuits on a PSoC microcontroller/system on a chip.

The goal is to achieve 5% efficiency with the multi-stage gauss gun, which would theoretically yield a muzzle speed of 70 m/s for a 5g projectile.


Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics

Magnetic Apparatus for Propelling High Speed Ferromagnetic Projectiles

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