Timothy A. McDaniel tmcd at
Thu Aug 21 08:20:55 PDT 1997

Um, force is not relevant here.  Momentum (mv) is the key here
(I believe kinetic energy, 1/2 mvv, is not appropriate, as energy
can be dissipated in a collision).  So adding mass to the projectile
is as effective as adding to the velocity, ceteris paribus.

However, the limit on velocity may be a mechanical one based on
the structure of the launcher.  For a sufficiently light projectile,
the arm may accelerate up to N MPH because that's what the rubber
band plus the mass of the arm allow, say.

Further, air drag is affected by the density.

If those weren't factors, and if the launcher added a fixed
momentum (which it presumably doesn't, as I wrote above),
we could launch ping-pong balls that would be as effective as
shot puts -- the ping-pong balls would be going like a bat out of

Daniel de Lincoln
Tim McDaniel.   Reply to tmcd at
tmcd at is not a valid address.

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