Weapons

Trebuchet - The Trebuchet is used to throw large objects such as stones, at enemy soldiers. It works by having a large weight suspended on one end, and the other end has a sling attached to it with the projectile inside. The entire piece is positioned on a fulcrum which maks it like a seesaw. When the large weight is released, it falls to the ground because it is acted on by gravity. The end with the sling is propelled upward with a lot of torque, momentum, and angular acceleration. Also, a trebuchet has projectile motion when the projectile is flying through the air.Trebuchet.jpg

Battle Axe - The Battle Axe was used in hand to hand combat. It was a pole that they held in their hand with a curved blade on the end. Sometimes it also had a very sharp tip at the end that they could also stab people with. The main physics behind this would be momentum and rotational motion. When the axe was thrown around, the momentum carried it through the enemy. With more rotational motion and momentum, the better the effect would be.
800px-Horseman's_axe.JPG
Ballista - The ballista was a weapon that was a mix between a catapult and a bow and arrow. The ballista could shoot light materials a very far distance. Being a catapult, the ballista had to have a good spring constant. In order to fire the ammunition the warriors had to pull the ammunition back along with ropes. When set and let go the ropes would release and send the ammunition flying. Also in order for the warriors to have good aim they would have to set the weapon at a good initial angle. There would be a lot of projectile motion in this because it would fire things at such a great distance.
654px-Ballista_(PSF).png

Battering ram - The battering ram was a huge siege weapon that was used to knock down doors. The battering ram consisted of a huge frame of wood with a huge log in the inside that was attached to the frame by rope. the physics in the battering ram would be momentum, tension, and even a pendulum effect. To make a successful battering ram they had to make sure they had strong enough rope. If the rope was not strong enough the tension from the huge log would tear it apart. With the more momentum of the log the easier it would be to break down the enemies door. In order to get more moment they would have to pull the log back to a maximum height and let it go. The log would then swing down and crush the door. The log would sway down in a pendulum effect which would bring the log right into the door.
Battering_ram.jpg
Longsword - The longsword was a long blade used to attack enemies. It was sometimes dragged across the ground because of its large mass. The long sword was used for thrusting, cutting, or even beating an enemy to the ground. It had a cross guard to protect the hands, and a pommel on the end to hit enemies in the ribs. The mass of this sword increases the inertia as the sword is swung. Although it is harder to swing than a normal sword, it lands a blow much deadlier than the regular sword. Momentum is mass time velocity, so a person an swing the sword slower and do the same amount of damage than a person with a regular sword.
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Javelin - The Javelin was used to throw at oncoming troops to help break them up so that the troops could then attack. The javelin was a long stick with a knife like end. Throwing the javelin was pretty much all about the projectile motion. To be able to throw it far enough to the attacking troops they had to throw it at a precise angle. If the initial angle was too high it would land too short, and if the angle was too little it would also land short. The best angle to throw the javelin would be a 45 degree angle. Also with the pointed tip, the air resistance would be less because it would cut through the air.
Pilum_lg.jpg
Mangonel - The Mangonel is a catapult like device that can be used to propel large objects. It is similar to a trebuchet, because it throws an object long distances, but the physics is different. A mangonel uses ropes coiled around an arm, and when the arm is pulled back, tension is added to the ropes. When the firing arm is released, there is a lage torque which propels the object long distances. Since the arm moves around a circle, angular momentum equation, t=Ia, can be used. There is also an angular velocity, which can be found with w2
2aq. Once the object is released, it follows the laws of projectile motion. To find the range, use the equation, R
v2sin2q/g, where g is gravity and theta is the angle from the horizontal that the object was released.
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All photos used were directly from Wikipedia.





Government meets Physics

The connection between warfare and government is one that has existed since well before the medieval period and still continues as a certain form of diplomacy today. It's obvious that nations are sometimes driven to war in order to solve conflict with other nations and it is essential for the nations involved in the conflict to develop better and more physically efficient forms of weaponry and technology in order to survive as a nation at war. This trend was slightly more severe in medieval times due to a lack of guidelines restricting the ramped imperialistic expansion present in many wars of the medieval time period.