Feb 2, 2011

Math Component of the Blog

For this part, we were to find the height of the cannon ball and how long it was in the air by using the formula: h = -16t2+v0t+h0. The H represents the final height, the -16 represents the pull of gravity, v0t represents the initial velocity, and h0 represents the initial height.
We were given a problem: “A cannonball is shot upward from the upper deck of a fort with an initial velocity of 192 feet per second.  The deck is 32 feet above the ground.
1.Finding the final height
1st.  plug in our know units into the formula :
2nd. Find the value of t. t represents time, use the formula t=-b/(2a). plug in the units from the above equation.
3rd. t=(-192)/(2*-16)      simply solve.
4th. t= 6 seconds
5th. then after you have the time, you simply insert it back into the original equation in step 1.
            h=-16(6)2+192(6)+32  simply solve once more.
            h=608 feet. 
 This number represents the vertex of the cannonball in mid air. It is the highest point.  This graph is similar to what would occur from a cannon shot. The vertex would be the maximum of the parabola (the round tip), in real life, it would be how high it reaches before gravity pulls it down.
2. Find the time of how long the cannonball is in the air
This process is definitely more time consuming.
1st.  plug in the known units into the formula:
2nd. Create a list of our terms:(this step is not necessary but it just helps organize the information)
            a= -16
            b= 192
            c= 32
3rd. plug all these units properly into the quadratic formula which is:
       -b ±√b2-4ac  Plug in our know units: -192±√(192)2-4(-16)(32)
               2a                                                        2 (-16)
4th. solve what is inside the square root symbol and you should get this:   
5th. do the square root of what is inside the square root symbol:
            -192 ± 197.3
6th. divide -32 into the top numbers and you should get this:
            6  ± -6.17
7th. since we are solving for time; obviously you can’t have a negative time, so you must solve for the answer which is positive. And you should receive an answer of:
           t=12.17 seconds

Imagine that the line on the graph is the trail of the cannonball shot in the air. The ball can only last 12.17 seconds in the air

how high did the cannonball go? 608 ft. 
how long is the cannonball in the air? 12.17 sec.

It looks like this formula could be useful in solving for the initial velocity:
 r= range in legth
g= acceleration of gravity  (meter/second^2)
θ= projection angle

however, this seems simpler:  (speed (ft/sec))cos(launch angle)
I predict the trajectory will be smooth and the cannonball will shoot straight forward

Feb 1, 2011

The English Component of the Cannon Blog

                   In my opinion, the use of weapons for murdering other humans is completely immoral and unethical. In fact, solutions could be peacefully obtained. (although that is more difficult because people want things their own way)
                The weapons used in A Long Way Gone weren’t as destructive as the one in the bombing of Hiroshima and they can’t destroy buildings as easily. However, the AK-47’s that were used in the story are still extremely capable of killing hundreds of innocent people and the bayonets are used to stab people which kill people slower and more painfully. These are weapons which can kill humans and are immoral if used improperly. These weapons had a great impact in the story because they caused Ishmael to be more merciless and angry. This was unethical because the weapon caused a young inexperienced child to wield a weapon and kill. The child would see blood and agony on peoples’ faces and all this is so unnatural for a child to see.
            Using Child soldiers in the war is also very unethical and immoral. This is because they should not be forced to fight in a battle that they didn’t start. They should not have to fight in other people’s wars in which they are not involved.
      To fire a cannon, made out of tennis ball containers, with a chemical combustion reaction using ethanol and oxygen.
1. two tennis ball containers
2. a pair of scissors
3. a protractor
4. 18 inch piece of tape
5. a compass
1. Begin by cutting one of the tennis ball containers in half, cut it downwards from the opening of the cap, NOT in through the middle. Cut off the bottom/round edged part of the container. And set those pieces aside.
2. Obtain the second tennis ball container. Do NOT cut this one in half. You must only cut off the round edged bottom. This container will act as the cannon barrel. Cover one of the ends with the cap.
3. Set the barrel horizontal to the ground and align it so that it is at a 45 degree angle.
4. Grab the one of the halves you cut from the first container and cut a circle in it big enough for the barrel to fit through. Use a compass to draw the circle. Make sure the circle has the same circumference as the cap.
5. Place the half on the barrel and adjust it until it is positioned at a 45 degree angle,
6. Use tape to lock the cannon into place.
7. Poke a small hole about 3 mm wide near the bottom of the barrel.

     (To Be Determined)

Jan 31, 2011

The Chemical Equation for the Combustion of Ethanol in Oxygen

The explosion will be triggered from the reaction of ethanol in oxygen and it will shoot our cannonball.
The chemical formula for Ethanol is:  C2H5OH
The chemical formula for Oxygen is: O2
When these two compounds are placed together, they form CO2 and H2O

C2H5OH + O CO2 + H2O
BUT! it is not balanced yet. you must place coefficients in front in order to balance and finally we have our equation!
C2H5OH + 3 O2 à 2 CO2 + 3 H2O

C=2                  |     C=2
H=6                  |     H=6
O=7                  |     O=7

Jan 24, 2011

Building our Cannon

In the morning we started our planning and drew our diagram. Our original idea looked like this:
(click on the pictures in order to enlarge them and get a better view)
Cannon Construction design plan:
     We decided that our cannon would be at a 45 degree angle which we thought would shoot the farthest. We would also use parts near the bottom as a weight so it stays in place. Lastly, we determined that the half we used would be useful in positioning the angle.
Launch angle choice/justification:
     The angle we chose was 45 degrees. We chose this because if it was higher than that, it would reach a higher elevation, but not a longer length, and if it was lower than that it wouldn't achieve much of elevation or length.
Expected results/Actual results:
     I believe our results will be that the cannon will be able to shoot far and stay stable as we hoped.
(our actual results have yet to be determined)
Difficulties in Construction:
     During the construction we had a few problems. For one, we had to disband our original idea and come up with a new one. We had to use the pieces we had and use them in a new plan. Although, in the end our cannon still came out fine.
How Pressure, Volume, and Temperature play a role:
     Due to the design of the cannon, the pressure inside the cannon will not be very high unfortunately. This is because there is nothing pressing down on the gas. The volume will be higher since there is not as much pressure from obstacles. Lastly, the temperature should not have much effect on the volume or pressure because it will most likely be constant on the day of the shooting.

1.) What our group had planned was to have one of the halves cut in half so we could use it as a support for the barrel. The container which would be cut in half would have another circle cut into it to fit the barrel.
2.)  We gathered our materials which consisted of these two tennis ball containers, a pair of scissors,18-inch length tape, and a protractor. One of the containers would serve as a balance and support for the barrel. The scissors would help us cut the second in half, and then cut out a circle in the middle for the barrel to go in.
 3.) Before we cut, we had to imagine where the circle would be cut, identify the proper angle, and visualize what it would look like in the end.
4.) We cut the second container in half. This half would act as a support for the barrel to stay aligned, upright, and stable for the shot. Also notice the bottom of the container, we will use this piece as a weight to keep the barrel stable on the ground.
5.) We experienced a few difficulties in our original idea, so we had to continue with what we had. In this picture, our partner is cutting off the metal end in attempt to "save" the cannon.
6.) In this picture, our group was experiencing difficulties. The reason was because the bottom half was not staying stable as we hoped and the weight of the barrel was too much. So, we had to come up with a new idea.
7.) This is our second diagram. We had to change our original plans because it simply didn't work out too well. Luckily, this idea looked both more appealing, interesting, and scientific. In this diagram, we will use the same half we used, and place it in the middle of the barrel. This would help because we could simply move the piece in order to change the angle. We used the bottle bottom as a weight to keep it stable on the  ground and stable from the force of the shot.  (click on the picture to enlarge the diagram and get a better view)
8.) We used the same half piece as earlier and cut a circle equal to the  circumference of the cap in order for the barrel to fit inside. Instead of lying on the ground horizontally, this time we would keep the half vertically. The bottle bottom would serve as a weight to maintain stability.(see the diagram in step 7)
9.) Finally our cannon was done! (click on this image and the diagram and compare them to each other) As you can see, the angle can be easily changed by the second half and the bottle bottom provides weight and stability.

Argument on the Ethics of Weapon Development

     In my opinion, weapons of mass destruction should never be developed because they are immoral. I believe they shouldn’t be created because they are capable of causing thousands of innocent deaths and destruction to cities. One excellent example of these tragedies is the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In this event, the atomic bomb was first tested in attempt to make Japan surrender the Second World War After the bombing, more than 70,000 people had been killed due to the explosion and several important buildings such as the Genbaku Dome were destroyed.

This is a Replica of the little boy atomic bomb

This is a picture of the Hiroshima Genbaku dome and the surrounding land which was destroyed from the bomb.


When manufacturing cannons, the ethics about taking someone’s life, taking someone away from their family, and causing severe damage to land and homes come into place. Cannons can also be very powerful. (Such as the ones with explosive cannonballs) These can kill another human which is already something immoral itself, but what about their family? They will also be affected by the loss.
Killing a Human being is not like killing an insignificant fly. It is not as if they can just be disposed of so easily.
In conclusion, any killing of other people in any way is immoral, especially if you don’t know the person.

The Social Impact of Cannons

Throughout history, the development of cannons can benefit one side and hurt the other. A good example of this would be when General Han Shizhong  used the huochong,( a type of cannon/firearm), to capture a city in Fujian. Han Shizhong’s side prospered while Fujian was destroyed. An example of a battle would be the Battle of Huangtiandang. In this battle, Han used the new flame throwing cannon technology and captured the whole city of Jurchen for 40 days. These events help prove that in battles, one side usually prospers while the other is destroyed and that cannons cause more harm than good.

"Han Shizhong Invading Jurchen." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 02 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Shizhong#The_Second_Invasion_of_the_Jurchens>.
"Han Shinzhong Invading Fujien." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 02 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannons#Early_history>.

1900- modern cannons research

~1900-modern cannons~
1. M198 Howitzer
This cannon was created to serve in the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps. It is highly reliable and can be transported through the air. It is able to fire “copperhead” and rocket assisted projectiles. It was manufactured by the Rock Island Arsenal in the U.S.  it is constructed out of aluminum and steel.
  • The United States
  • Australia
  • Pakistan
  • can be transported through air
  • made out of aluminum and steel
  • a towed system
  • The Battle of Fallujah, Iraq
Ammunition Types:
  • Rocket Projectiles
  • High Explosives
  • White Phosphorus
  • illumination
  • "copperhead"
Economic Impacts:
This cannon was created to serve in the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps. It is highly reliable and can be transported through the air. As a result, it was highly favored and was produced.
This Cannon is mainly used on land to provide an attack on the enemy

"M198 Towed Howitzer." Federation of American Scientists. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m198.htm>.

M198 Towed Cannon Pic. Digital image. G2mill. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. http://www.g2mil.com/M198.jpg.

~1900-modern cannons~
2. M777 Howitzer
This cannon was created in 2005 in the united kingdom. It is light weight and portable and was originally made to replace the M198. Due to its small size and the use of titanium, it is easier to transport and to be stored.
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Canada
  • light weight and portable
  • small size
  • uses titanium
  • War in Afghanistan
  • War in Iraq
  • Battle of Panjwaii
Ammunition types:
  • Rocket Projectiles
  • High Explosives
  • "copperhead"
Economic Impacts:
This cannon was created in 2005 in the united kingdom. It is light weight and portable and as a result, this made it favorable for the military and was produced more. Soon, Canada and the U.S. were also using this cannon.
This cannon mainly uses the land for attacks on the enemy. It is preferred if its in a wide area because of all the high power explosive rockets.

M777 Howitzer." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M777>.

M777 Cannon. Digital image. Wikipedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:M777_howitzer_rear.jpg.

1800-1900 cannons research

~1800-1900 Cannons~
1. The Armstrong Gun
These guns were designed by Sir William Armstrong and they were manufactured in England in 1855. The gun was made in certain type called “built up”. This meant that the central iron tube was surrounded by multiple iron coils shrunk over the tube to keep it under tension. It had a cast iron shell with a thin lead coating. Britain used it against China during the Second Opium War.
  • England
  • Sweden
  • had a particular system in which a wrought iron tube was surrounded my multiple iron coils to keep it compressed
  • had a cast iron shell
  • could be opened from the back
  • Britain Vs. China in the Second Opium War
Ammunition Types:
  •  shells with a lead coating
Economic Impacts:
These guns were designed by Sir William Armstrong and they were manufactured in England in 1855. He proposed his cannon to the secretary state for war. It was successful because of its range and accuracy it was produced more from then.
These cannons were mainly used on Royal Navy Ships against forts on land

"Armstrong Gun." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armstrong_gun>.

Sagahan Armstrong Gun at Battle of Ueno. Digital image. Wikipedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sagahan_Armstrong_gun_used_at_the_Battle_of_Ueno_against_the_Shogitai_1868.jpg>.

Civil War Armstrong Cannon. Digital image. Cannon Super Store. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. http://www.cannonsuperstore.com/Armstrong/DSC00026.jpg.

~1800-1900 Cannons~
2. The Parrott Rifle
This cannon was especially used during the American Civil War. It was invented by Robert Parker Parrott. It was made out of cast iron which made it accurate but also brittle enough to be damaged by others. At an elevation of about 25-30 degrees, it could reach nearly 7,000 yards.
It was used at the battle of Fort Sumter. The parrot rifles were manufactured in several different sizes, one of the most famous was the rifle called “Swamp Angel” 

"Parrott Rifle." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parrott_rifle>.
Parrott Rifle. Digital image. Wikipedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://www.civilwarartillery.com/cannon/300pdrParrottRifle.jpg>.
Melton, Jack W. "Civil War Artillery." The Civil War Artillery Projectile and Cannon Home Page. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. http://www.civilwarartillery.com/.

"Field Artillery in the American Civil War." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 02 Feb.2011.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_artillery_in_the_American_Civil_War#Parrott_rifles.

  • America
  • made of cast and wrought iron
  • muzzle loading rifle artillery
  • could be opened in the back
  • Civil War
  • Fort Sumter
  • Battle of Hanover
Ammunition Types:
  • explosive shells
  • grape shot
  • chain shot - used against ships
  • Case Shot - for exposed troops
  • canister shot - most powerful
Economic Impacts
This cannon was especially used during the American Civil War. It was invented by Robert Parker Parrott. They were used by Confederate Forces. They were highly accurate but not very safe so they weren't produced as much.
They were used on land in forts.

Jan 13, 2011

pre 1800's - cannon research

~Pre 1800 cannons~
1. The Breech Loading Swivel Gun

It is a type of cannon that is equipped with a swivel in order to turn it in different directions. It must first be loaded with gunpowder and projectiles. This cannon has a somewhat rapid fire property. It was used by Africa, Europe, and Asia for many centuries. They were first invented in the 14th century in Burgundy and used in the 16th century and onwards by several countries. They were used in the siege of Moji, a Japanese castle, and the battle of Takajo. They were also used during the Ming Dynasty in the Imjin War. The cannons could fire cannonballs or grapeshot (loosely packed metal balls in a bag).
Manufacture :
  • North America
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • had a swivel to turn in different directions
  • had a somewhat rapid fire property
  • mug chaped chamber
  • siege of Moji
  • battle of takajo
  • imjin War
Ammunition types:
  • grapeshot
  • roundshot
  • cannonballs
Economic Impacts:
They were initially used as an alternate to the expensive bronze cannons. They were developed in the 14th century and were produced more because of the high effectiveness.
It was used mainly as a anti-personnel gun such as a modern machine gun and they were also used on warships at the bow and stern.

"Breech-loading Swivel Gun." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breech-loading_swivel_gun#Characteristics>.
Breech Loadig Swivel Cannon Munich 1632. Digital image. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Breech_loading_swivel_cannon_Munich_1632.jpg>.
Oda Nobunaga Breech Loading Swivel Gun. Digital image. Wikipedia. Web. 12 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oda_Nobunaga_swivel_breech_loading_gun.jpg>.
Oozutsu Japanese Breech Loadaing Swivel Cannon. Digital image. Wikipedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oozutsu_cannon_Japan_16th_century.jpg.

~Pre 1800 cannons~
2. Culverin Cannon

This was originally a French cannon which was introduced to Europe in 1534. It was a medieval cannon which worked well at attacking from a distance. It fired solid round cannon balls, had a light barrel, and was very light and portable. It is known as the “ancestor of the musket”. This cannon was closed at the back except for the hole in which the gunpowder was ignited. You would insert a small match inside the small hole and then the lead bullets or other ammunition would be fired.
  • France
  • England
  • had a smoothbore tube
  • light and portable
  • the ignition begins at the bottom of the tube
  • the siege of Cahir Castle
Ammunition Types:
  • lead bullets
  • iron balls
Economic Impacts:
Due to its light weight and portability, it was favored and was produced more. After the French developed it, the English also picked it up and it continued on. It was used to attack enemies from a safe distance and they were often used on ships.

Culverin Cannon." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culverin>.

Early Culverin Cannons Pic. Digital image. Wikipedia. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EarlyCoulevrines.jpg.