The Algorithmic Beauty of the
On the physics and mechanics of a medieval trebuchet, a
type of catapult, its design, working and optimization
through improved simulation and mathematical analysis.
is a free manuscript that provides an extensive
description of the mechanics of trebuchets. It starts
with elementary black-box and "see-saw" models, and
builds gradually to the full model that includes a
sliding, constrained sling. Geometry, physics,
detailed derivation of equations. Energetics;
definition of efficiency; tips on design; analysis of
the finger mechanism; a monte carlo design method.
Plenty of material for the mathematically inclined, but
also lots of insight for the guy that just wants tips
on efficient designs and to explore how to make his
design perform efficiently.
Download it for free here.
An Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file; 1.3 MB.
- An animation
- A mathematica program
- A fortran montecarlo simulator
My Own Trebuchet!
This babie throws bowling balls. Over the trees!
"Onager Physics?" is another free manuscript that
analyzes the physics of the Onager (Mangonel). It
concentrates on the properties of the rope bundle, or
skein, that generates the torque on the beam, but has
some more general remarks on the scaling properties,
efficiency and energetics as well. Download the file
This site was
created by Donald B. Siano
I appreciate your
mail, comments, and suggestions