TWilliams Capstone

 My capstone was a collaboration done with Vincent Russell. My aspect of the project was to apply concepts an ideas that were associated with the trebuchet, was well as demonstrate the ability of what we built. The website provides a history of the trebuchet as it evolved from a medieval weapon. The second feature of my capstone is media of Vinny's capstone which was the trebuchet itself. Finally, the last aspect of my capstone was a research paper that explored the modern day applications of gravitational potential energy, the force that drives the performance of the trebuchet. 




Works Cited



" How Satellites Work. ." ThinkQuest : Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

This source will be used to give insight throughout my research paper. A paragraph will be written explaining how gravity is used to keep our satellites in orbit for the purpose of communication, navigation etc. Without satellites, our modern society would look extremely different and without the assistance of gravity keeping these satellites in our orbit for service, the satellites couldn’t function.


"Gravitational Potential Energy." Phyper Physic. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

This source gives insight into exactly what gravitation potential energy is. In my research paper, I plan on discussing it briefly to give background knowledge on how a trebuchet is able to use this to launch objects. In the paper, I will briefly touch on how this concept works but will not go into detail as far as explaining the math and applications of the equation used to calculate gravitation potential energy. .


"Gravity." Hyper Physics. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

This source will be used to find other applications of gravity throughout our society. Gravity works in numerous ways and works on all objects equally. However, some objects are affected differently due to mass or air resistance or other variables that determine how much of it is being affected by the natural force.



"History | Punkin Chunkin." Punkin Chunkin. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

I needed to know when a trebuchet broke records during this competition because this is one of the few modern day applications of a trebuchet while still keeping in mind its original purpose. Punkin Chunkin is a nationwide event that pits machines against each other to compete for the longest throw of a pumpkin. One specific category is using the trebuchet. Although it isn’t the most powerful machine throughout the competition, it is still fascinating to bring in fans every year. Specifically, Yankee Siege, the record breaking trebuchet has brought in a large fan base to the event.


"Interesting Gravity Facts - Acceleration, G-Force, Mass, Formula, Law, Orbit." Science for Kids - Fun Experiments, Cool Facts, Online Games, Activities, Projects, Ideas, Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

This source was especially helpful when considering the body paragraphs for my research paper. There are not many applications in modern society for gravitational potential energy. However, gravity is still utilized throughout society and this source gives me some specific examples of what those are. It provided me with four different applications of gravity including the early use of the trebuchets, which will be explained in another part of the capstone, not the paper.




"Kingda Ka - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 March 2013. <>.

I used this source for my final body paragraph of my research paper. Roller caosters in general take advantage of gravity throughout the course of the ride, especially when they are taken to the peak of its track. At the point where the coaster train drops, it is converting gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy. This source gives me specs on the fastest, tallest roller coaster in the world. I used this coaster specifically to give an example of how gravity creates mass amounts of energy and is then used to do work.


"Perpetual Futility." Ihup. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

I used this source to analyze how perpetual motion is a theory that often uses gravity to create constant action within a device but to no fault. Usually, these ideas are “futile” and often don’t work. In my paper I talk about how we may indeed use gravity to tackle the problem of creating a machine that can actually produce enough energy to sustain its own operation and supply energy to a load. This would result in unlimited energy and I believe, just as people believed flight to be impossible, we only think this cannot happen because our technology has not yet advanced to that point yet.




"Perpetual Motion." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

I used this source to simply explain exactly what perpetual motion was. I used another source to describe how it is applied and related to gravity, but this source specifically gave me an understanding of how exactly to describe it in the paper before diving into deeper analysis of how we may use it in the future because at this point it is a theory that we belive to be impossible.


"Pumpkin chunking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

Pumpkin Chunkin is the last popular application of trebuchets in society. Every year, groups of engineers being their machines to compete for who has the machine that can launch a pumpkin the farthest. In this competition, the machines are categorized and separated based on what type of machine they are. There is one group that is specifically trebuchets and I found an interest into how many of these trebuchets performed. Not to mention, their specs of their machines were astronomical compared to the machine Vinny and I built.





Russell, Vincent. "Treb 3.0 1 - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2013. <>.

This source is actually a replacement for having the trebuchet in front of the audience because it is always more effective to show people what you’re talking about instead of simply talking about it. This is a clip of the trebuchet working at its finest without actually launching a projectile in the room. This displays the machines potential while still keeping it consistent with the overall message of informing.



"The History of the Trebuchet." . N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

This source will be useful for my history part of my capstone which gives a timeline of the uses of the trebuchet on the website. The trebuchet lasted for a great deal until the invention of gunpowder and was then deemed obsolete. Currently, trebuchets are used more for recreational purposes, but still used throughout society. The concept that drives the performance of a trebuchet is gravitational potential energy which will be explained in other parts of the capstone.







"Tidal power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 March 2013. <>.

This is more evidence I will use in my research that gives light to modern day applications of gravity. Tidal power is used throughout oceans to generate electricity using the tides, which are a result of the earth’s moon and the sun. The gravitational effects these two entities have play a great role in the invention of a new way to create renewable energy. This is both beneficial to society and the environment because, with a struggling ecosystem, there is never a wrong time to sacrifice a little if it means better the earth’s health.


"Trebuchet." Wikipedia. Wikipedi, n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

I used this source as a reference to important dates on my timeline for the trebuchet. I also knew I could obtain information about what different cultures and countries utilized the trebuchet in ways that Alexander used them throughout the sieges. The trebuchet was the primary heavy artillery alternative in the 12th century and remained that way until the invention of gunpowder. It was still used as a last resort, as demonstrated in 1779 by the British. Now, the trebuchet is little more than a little entertainment



"Warwick Trebuchet: The Warwick Trebuchet." Warwick Trebuchet - the world's largest trebuchet at Warwick Castle. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

The Warwick Trebuchet is the world’s largest trebuchet. I used this source to give perspective in my project for exactly how large these machines were. The trebuchet Vinny and I made was around 11 feet tall, and the Warwick trebuchet stands a towering 59 feet. This also goes deeper into exactly what I wanted to do with this source. Vinny and I had a job cut out for us, which is little in comparison to the jobs architects and engineers have to face every day in their career.


"Yankee Siege Trebuchet in Greenfield, New Hampshire." Yankee Siege Trebuchet in Greenfield, New Hampshire. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <>.

This source was used mainly to demonstrate the modern day application of trebuchets today. Yankee Siege is the trebuchet that currently holds the record for longest pumpkin throw held at Punkin’ Chunkin’ by any other trebuchet. This is the last practical application trebuchets have in today’s society, but it still serves a purpose. Trebuchets that can be made today upstage those used in the 12th century.



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