An electromagnetic gun

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The rail gun is one of the most astonishing demonstrations of the power of electromagnetism. Scaled-up versions of the rail gun have been tested by the military to propel projectiles to supersonic speeds. A new video released by the University of Liverpool’s Quasar group shows how to build one with basic materials. While being perfectly safe, it provides good entertainment and demonstrates the underlying principles of particle accelerators.

The video, now on YouTube, has been produced as part of a project funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council to promote accelerator science among schoolchildren.