This experiment is for Advanced Students. For ages, people have been hurling rocks, sticks, and other objects through the air. The trebuchet came around during the Middle Ages as a way to break through the massive defenses of castles and cities. It’s basically a gigantic sling that uses a lever arm to quickly speed up the rocks before letting go. A trebuchet is typically more accurate than a catapult, and won’t knock your kid’s teeth out while they try to load it.
Trebuchets are really levers in action. You’ll find a fulcrum carefully positioned so that a small motion near the weight transforms into a huge swinging motion near the sling. Some mis-named trebuchets are really ‘torsion engines’, and you can tell the difference because the torsion engine uses the energy stored in twisted rope or twine (or animal sinew) to launch objects, whereas true trebuchets use heavy counterweights.
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