Undergraduate physics majors build and use a trebuchet

Author: Shelly Goethals

Trebuchet Still For Web

After a long semester with limited opportunities to have fun as a group, the University of Notre Dame physics majors decided to use the surplus of pumpkins from Halloween as projectiles for a trebuchet they designed and built. A trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses a long arm to throw projectiles.

The students worked closely with ND’s Risk Management and Safety (RMS) to learn about risk evaluation and mitigation. The group developed a good risk assessment and proposed procedures to prevent any accident. Using their physics knowledge and construction skills the students put together a very successful system and held a launch event on Saturday, November 14, on the north side of campus. 

The event was an opportunity to relax as a group while maintaining reasonable distance from each other at an outdoor setting.

Video of a soccer ball being launched by the trebuchet: https://youtu.be/5fd7TQ8l--Q


Originally published by Shelly Goethals at physics.nd.edu on November 16, 2020.