Kitchen Science Experiments

Vacuum Powered Bazooka

Sun, 16th Mar 2008

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What you Need

Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner

Plumbing Bits

Some pipe a similar size to the vacuum cleaner tube. You can either use plumbing fittings or cardboard tubes

Bubble Wrap

Some bubble -wrap or foam

Some plasticine, or clay

 

 

 

 

What to do

There are 2 designs for this using either cardboard tubes or waste pipe.

The Cardboard Method

Cut a short length from your tube about 10cm long.

Cut a hole (or a drill a series of holes making a sieve type arrangement) in the side of the long tube about 5cm clear of the end.

Shape the short piece of tube so it will fit nicely onto the side of the long one.

Tape them together.

Attach the vacuum hose to the short pipe (this may require more tape)

Cardboard Vacuum Bazooka

The Waste Pipe Method

Attach the length of waste pipe to the T-junction.  If the junction is asymmetric attach it as shown, to reduce the chances of the projectile getting sucked down the side pipe.

Attach the vacuum cleaner to the side of the T-junction

Plumber's version

The projectile

Make a light projectile by rolling about 5g of plasticine into a sausage.

Roll the plasticine sausage in some bubble wrap until it it big enough to fit loosely in your main tube.  This will be your projectile! Use some tape to hold it together.

The projectile

Then...

Turn on your vacuum cleaner

Put a piece of card over the short end of the tube - the vacuum should hold it in place.

Hold the projectile in the other end of the tube.

Let Go!

WARNING - If you have a powerful vacuum cleaner the projectile can come out very fast, so DO NOT POINT THE BAZOOKA AT PEOPLE or other breakable objects.

What may happen

You should find that the projectile flies out of the end of the tube at high speed, in a very satisfying manner.

Wellcome Trust
EPSRC
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Genetics Society