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# Tabletop Velocity Visualisation Device

Small roung projectile is viewed as it's shot into coiled trajectory within clear case.
 (+1) [vote for, against]

This invention endevors to give allow people to grasp the concept of velocity as something other than a number and to actually experience it visually.

If you shoot a bullet, you dont' see it. Differences in velocity are just numbers attached to a non percevable blur.

With this device, you can actually watch a small BB being propelled faster than the eye could otherwise see in a coiled pattern that would allow the eye to perceive it unaided by slow motion cameras.

The projectile is blasted through a clear chamber through which twists a spring shaped coiled hollow path. Picture a BB being shot through a spring shaped tube.

It is projected by compressed gas so that it doesn't slow down due to the friction of the ball rolling through the coils.

So the projectile would be flying several hundred feet, but in the compressed area of a couple of square feet due to the coiled path thus allowing the eye to more easily perceive the flight.

The path may be a series of coils where the projectile is shot in, goes from the outside of the coil to the inside then to the next coil from the inside to the outside and then the next from outside to inside and so on. Thus several hundred yards of trajectory path may be compressed into a few cubic feet.

 — doctorremulac3, Apr 09 2017

or well of death [popbottle, Apr 09 2017]

If a roung projectile is going faster than the eye can see, does it matter whether it is going straight or bent?
 — pocmloc, Apr 09 2017

Seems like you might be able to perceive a slight blur moving along the length of the coil.
 — scad mientist, Apr 09 2017

 The spiral would have to be cast-in-place, maybe by some sort of lost wax process.

The wear rate on the wall of the spiral is going to be fairly high.
 — 8th of 7, Apr 09 2017

 No, because the wear will always be on the outside of each bend.

As a more exciting way to visualize bullet speeds, how about having an SU-27 do a full-speed pass at an altitude of about 15ft?
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 09 2017

 Combine a Wall of Death motorcycle track (link), large circular v-track for the bb, paired compressed air jets for acceleration/velocity maintenance, and strobe lights to catch the little bugger flying by ?

 At least the bb could be running on bearing quality steel and just air between your eyeball or camera lens.

Not likely table top size.
 — popbottle, Apr 09 2017

But strobe lights would make the bb appear stationary (or moving forward or backward at any apparent speed you chose).
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 09 2017

 //If a roung projectile is going faster than the eye can see, does it matter whether it is going straight or bent?.//

 I believe so, albeit as a blur as Scad said. The photons bounced off the projectile aren't scattered along the linear trajectory, rather concentrated in that small area, theoretically allowing the cumulative bunch of reflected photons to hit your eye in a useful manner that would allow perception.

 I'm pretty sure you'd seee a split second shadow or blur going from one side of the enclosure to the other.

 As far as the structure, yea, it's going to have to be pretty bulletproof seeing as it's containing a bullet. The gas pressure would be necessary to keep it moving as a projectile you just shot in would loose all momentum very quickly due to the spiral course.

 Wanna guarantee you see it? Color the gas pushing the bb.

 Better yet, lose the frictiony projectile and just use colored gas. You could even have a puff of colored gas followed by clear gas so you'd perceive it more clearly.

 All problems solved.

 — doctorremulac3, Apr 09 2017

Just use a fairly large screen video device as your tabletop and render a video clip of the demonstration. Very little friction, yay, but no chance of death by escaped projectile, alas.
 — lurch, Apr 09 2017

 Yea, I thought of just using a laser or something but that's too easy. I originally liked the element of danger that a projectile provided too.

 Ok, a bead of mercury blown through the device with gas. Very reflective and you can make it longer so it's more visible.

Of course the easiest way to do it would just be to have a computer program that filled in the pixils on your screen at various rates.
 — doctorremulac3, Apr 10 2017

 There's another way.

 If you simply have a very, very long transparent tube, and align your POV close to the tube so that the angular velocity is small, under strong illumination the projectile will be visible.

Consider a long, straight railway track; the apparent velocity of the train initially appears small, and it's only when it's close that its true speed is discernable.
 — 8th of 7, Apr 10 2017

...and then only briefly.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 10 2017

The trick is not to stand within the kinematic envelope of the approaching train, lest your comprehension of the speed be abruptly terminated.
 — 8th of 7, Apr 10 2017

You could always use one of those padded envelopes, though they don't work very well. Sturton once mailed me a Sumatran Bird-Eating Stick Insect in one, and it arrived in pieces. Actually I think it may have been in pieces when he mailed it. And actually it might have just been a stick.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 10 2017

 // use one of those padded envelopes //

 Tried that. Train stuck in the first tunnel it came to.

Didn't end well.
 — 8th of 7, Apr 10 2017

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