Ballistics Research Paper

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Ballistics is a science that studies the movement and collision of projectiles with external force. For the launched projectiles, the most important external factors that influence their movement are the wind power, pressure, and temperature. In addition, correct calculations of nuclear missiles ballistics require such factors as the speed of rotation of the Earth.

There is internal ballistics that deals with the study of motion of the projectile in the gun channel, as opposed to external ballistics, exploring projectile motion forth out of the gun. External ballistics typically studies motion of bodies in air and vacuum under the action of external forces only. The word “external” in this term comes from considering the movement of artillery projectile out of the barrel of the gun. There is also the concept of terminal (final) ballistics concerning the interaction of the projectile and the body in which it falls, and the motion of the projectile after hit. Terminal ballistics is explored by professionals gunsmiths engaged in producing shells and bullets, armor and defense, and criminologists.

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The ballistics main objective is the mathematical calculation of curve of flight (trajectory) depending of thrown and shot bodies from external factors (such forces as gravity, air resistance, friction, etc.).

For this purpose, the necessary knowledge of higher mathematics are required, and the results obtained in this way are of value only for the scientists and weapons engineers. However, it is clear that the soldier shooting practice is a matter of a simple skill.

Ballistic trajectory is a trajectory along which the body moves, which has some initial velocity, and is influenced by gravity and aerodynamic forces of air resistance. Excluding air resistance, ballistic trajectory, according to the first law of Kepler is the ellipse above the Earth’s surface, one of the focuses of which coincides with the center of the Earth gravity. Since most of the trajectories of ballistic missiles of rather long range (over 500 km) is in rarefied atmosphere, where air resistance is virtually absent, their trajectories in this region are elliptical.

The shape of curve when a projectile passes the dense layers of the atmosphere depends on many factors: the initial velocity of the projectile, its shape and weight, current state of the atmosphere on a trajectory (temperature, pressure, density) and the nature of the motion of a projectile around its center of mass.

Another type is forensic ballistics whose mission is to give investigators the answers to technical issues that arise during the investigation of cases of firearms. In particular, a match between the bullet and a weapon from which the shot was taken.

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