WTF#: Using F# to calculate Ballistics part 2
It was a quiet weekend here at Dana By the Sea, our neighbor’s son has apologized, of course in most any other neighborhood or time, his actions would have been of little note. But in these times of tightly packed urban neighborhoods and news like the recent shootings everyone is nervous. When I was a kid we used to get the 22 caliber rifle out and drive down to this part of Orange County to shoot at cans and other stationary targets.
Now days, there are other kinds of ballistic experiments that illustrate the science of ballistics, and that is the use of Estes Rockets, or similar. The Estes Rocket site has curriculum, range safety, as well as how to structure the launch events.
In fact, like the AirSoft pellet gun, the Estes Rockets are well documented, the Estes unlike the AirSoft, provide specific instructions on how to perform the launches, launch area and so forth.
My original goal was to use the Estes approach to our experiments in this blog, so we will switch over to the use of the Estes Rocket web site to investigate the science of ballistics. This makes a little more sense because as we investigate the use of ballistics in space, the Estes rockets would work in space because they are true solid fuel rocket motors.
The use of Graphing Calculators or F# would be a great way to have the students be able to experiment with the creation of models that they then test against a real device. Like the current discussion about the climate change model, the model doesn’t seem to map against the real weather data. An important concept that science students need to discover is that in the real world, models that don’t create realistic outputs, need to be tuned up. Fortunately, model rockets is pretty well defined so using the Estes rockets is a great way for the students to discover how to create models, and maybe read other student’s code.