Critical Section

Sam Barros and Powerlabs

Saturday,  06/14/03  07:43 PM

Have you ever checked out Sam Barros and PowerlabsThis is such a cool site.  Every once in a while someone links one of his experiments from Slashdot, and it reminds me how cool it really is.

Exploded CDThe most recent experiments involved using a Dremel router to spin CDs beyond their structural limit.  "A high speed rotating CD Rom is a bomb ready to explode and will send razor sharp plastic shrapnel in all directions when least expected."

If you're thinking this guy would make a fun neighbor, then you would really like his experiments with homemade cannons.  "The culminating point of this project was loading 30 grams of a potassium bromate/sugar/sulfur pyrotechnic mixture into the cannon with a 200 grams nitrocellulose hexanitrate propellant charge, and ramming the golf ball into it with a tight fitting cotton sabot."  He shot the golf ball over 6 miles.  Come to think of it, he wouldn't have to be your neighbor.

Sam Barros with rail gunBut if he was your neighbor, you'd want to be friendly, because he also has investigated rail guns.  The picture at right shows Sam with his latest rendition.  Basically he was able to get a working rail gun built in his garage, and he has the videos to prove it.  "RailGuns are by far the most spectacular type of electromagnetic accelerators ever developed. They hold the record for fastest object accelerated of a significant mass..."

Oh, yeah, Sam is 18, a freshman at Michigan Tech.  Whew.

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