P5_12 Thermal Emissions of Projectiles

Peter Hicks, Benedict Irwin, Hannah Lerman


This article investigates estimating the velocity and kinetic energy of a projectile, based on the wavelength of radiation emitted due to frictional heating caused by atmospheric drag. An 81kg sphere of tungsten emitting light with a wavelength of approximately 480nm is found to have a velocity of 90km∙s-1 and hence kinetic energy of 330GJ.

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