# The Physics of Slingshots 2 | Smarter Every Day 57 | Summary and Q&A

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July 19, 2012
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SmarterEveryDay
The Physics of Slingshots 2 | Smarter Every Day 57

## TL;DR

Discover the physics of slingshots and the importance of tapered bands in converting potential energy into kinetic energy.

## Key Insights

• 🏪 Slingshots rely on the potential energy stored in stretched slings to launch projectiles.
• 🥵 Energy is conserved in a slingshot system, but it is rapidly dissipated as heat.
• 🤕 Tapered bands are more effective in converting potential energy into kinetic energy.
• 🤕 The elasticity of rubber bands does not follow Hooke's Law.
• 😚 Rubber bands lose energy when they cool off, resulting in slower projectiles.
• 🤕 The further slingshot bands are pulled, the more difficult it becomes to stretch them.
• 🤕 The potential energy in a stretched rubber band can be calculated by considering the total energy in the system.

## Transcript

Hey it's me Destin. Welcome back to Smarter Every Day. So if you want to become smart in any particular field you have to go talk to the experts. This is why I went to Germany to a guy named Jörg Sprave. [thunder] Now today we're gonna learn about the physics of slingshots but before we do that, let's just have some fun shooting. You're getting ... Read More

### Q: Why does rubber lose energy when it cools off, resulting in a slower projectile?

Rubber bands lose energy when they cool off because the potential energy is converted into heat energy, decreasing the total potential energy in the system and resulting in a slower projectile.

### Q: Why are tapered bands more efficient in slingshots?

Tapered bands are more efficient in slingshots because they distribute stress and strain more evenly throughout the band, allowing for a greater conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy.

### Q: How does the elasticity of rubber bands differ from other materials?

The elasticity of rubber bands does not obey Hooke's Law, as it does not follow a linear relationship between stress and strain. This makes rubber bands unique compared to other materials.

### Q: How does pulling the bands of a slingshot become more difficult the further they are pulled?

Pulling the bands of a slingshot becomes more difficult the further they are pulled because the potential energy stored in the bands increases, requiring more force to stretch them further.

## Summary & Key Takeaways

• Smarter Every Day visits Jörg Sprave in Germany, known for being the world record holder for the strongest handheld slingshot.

• Elasticity of slingshot bands is explored, with potential energy being conserved but rapidly dissipated as heat.

• The efficiency of tapered bands in converting potential energy into kinetic energy is demonstrated through high-speed camera footage.