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Ancient Machines: Siege Engines

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Information about Ancient Machines: Siege Engines
Education

Published on December 3, 2008

Author: mwinikates

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Introduction to a hands-on program in building and experimenting with models of siege engines (catapults and trebuchets).
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Ancient Machines “The Siege Engine Edition”

Big Idea: More than Manpower Humans like the easy way out: developed technology to help construct pyramids, waterwheels, castles Wedges, levers, wheels, etc all use alternate sources of power to ease the work involved. Gravity and tension are today’s 2 power sources.

Humans like the easy way out: developed technology to help construct pyramids, waterwheels, castles

Wedges, levers, wheels, etc all use alternate sources of power to ease the work involved.

Gravity and tension are today’s 2 power sources.

Mechanical Advantage

What Goes Up… Most ancient machines were used to create, rather than destroy.

Most ancient machines were used to create, rather than destroy.

…Gets Knocked Down Forts, Castles, Walls of all shapes and sizes = Tempting Targets!

Forts, Castles, Walls of all shapes and sizes = Tempting Targets!

Catapults Storing Tension – lots of tension! Ratchet Gears work as a winch: a piece of metal called a ‘pawl’ keeps the gears only rotating in one direction. Releasing the tension on the spring arm makes it fly up until it hits the stop-bar. Notice the extra construction to keep the stop-bar from snapping under the pressure. The ancient Romans were excellent engineers. Many of the things they built are still standing today.

Storing Tension – lots of tension!

Ratchet Gears work as a winch: a piece of metal called a ‘pawl’ keeps the gears only rotating in one direction.

Releasing the tension on the spring arm makes it fly up until it hits the stop-bar.

Notice the extra construction to keep the stop-bar from snapping under the pressure.

Activity: Coat Hanger Catapults Bend a coat-hanger into a catapult base, wind up a rubber band and test your flinging machine! For obvious safety reasons, we will not be throwing rocks, marbles, or anything hard.  Feel free to experiment and modify your design at home! … In which we learn that experiments with rubber bands and sponges will hurt less than the alternative.

Trebuchets A trebuchet works with a lever and counterweight, using gravity (potential energy transformed to kinetic) to fling the projectile. Range and accuracy can be altered by changing the length of the swinging arm, the mass of the ball, the mass of the counterweight, and several other factors.

A trebuchet works with a lever and counterweight, using gravity (potential energy transformed to kinetic) to fling the projectile.

Range and accuracy can be altered by changing the length of the swinging arm, the mass of the ball, the mass of the counterweight, and several other factors.

Success or Splat? Be a siege engineer! NOVA: Destroy the Castle http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lostempires/trebuchet/destroywave.html GlobalSpec: Treb Challenge http:// www.globalspec.com /Trebuchet/

Be a siege engineer!

NOVA: Destroy the Castle http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lostempires/trebuchet/destroywave.html

GlobalSpec: Treb Challenge http:// www.globalspec.com /Trebuchet/

Activity: Testing Trebuchet Range Try out our working tabletop trebuchet! Try for distance or for one of the targets. Remember not to fire AT anyone, and stay out of the firing line while waiting your turn. Please remember to recover your “ammunition” after each firing! The “Little Dragon” Trebuchet was the model for our version.

Try out our working tabletop trebuchet! Try for distance or for one of the targets.

Remember not to fire AT anyone, and stay out of the firing line while waiting your turn.

Please remember to recover your “ammunition” after each firing!

Projectile People—Possible? Also known as: my favorite movie stunt

Also known as: my favorite movie stunt

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