Thursday, February 01, 2018

China isn't testing a rail gun. They're testing a COIL GUN!!!

Ok.  All the science geeks in my audience (and I say that with the utmost respect) need to step up hard for me on this one.

I got a note from a reader saying that this isn't a rail gun that's being tested but the mythical COIL GUN that can launch projectiles at MUCH HIGHER SPEED than a rail gun could ever achieve.

Check out what INST(many thanks to you buddy...this will be a FASCINATING CONVERSATION which I will have to spectate, not participate knowledge is just too lacking) had to say...
Hi Solomon. I have some good news and some bad news.

First, I think the cant is that this isn't actually a railgun, but instead a coil gun, or a Gauss gun if you want to get fancy. The reason is the circular design; American railguns in comparison tend to be more longitudinal, since they use rails to propel the projectile. The good news is that real coil guns tend to have far inferior performance in comparison to railguns; it seems it's quite hard to directly propel a projectile using a coil gun at high speeds, although on the plus side, they are less technically challenging in a materials sense--a railgun will break apart after a few shots, while a coilgun transfers the force more efficiently.

The bad news is that coilguns have higher theoretical velocities than railguns. If the Chinese have managed to achieve something close to the theoretical maximums, then not only are they ahead in development and deployment, they're also ahead in actual performance; the highest recorded coilgun speed, although built as a single-shot project, was Mach 25.
If he's right and this is a coil gun then we're in huge trouble.  I'm a pure noob on this subject so you guys WITH REAL KNOWLEDGE weigh in.

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