Backyard Ballistics

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Backyard Ballistics is a how-to book by William Gurstelle that was published in 2001.[1][2][3] It is full of experiments that can be done relatively inexpensively and can be easily executed. It also includes the history and mechanical principles of some of the inventions and projects. From catapults to rockets, this book describes accessible ways to create these at home or in the classroom. In addition to recreational use by individuals, teacher's guides have been developed and science fair projects designed around this book.[4][5] It has been cited in several educational and scientific journals.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ Dwight Garner. Things That Go Boom. NY Times. June 27, 2007.
  2. ^ Dwight Garner. Author Argues Limited Rist-Taking Makes Life More of a Blast. Columubus Diapatch. June 30, 2009.
  3. ^ German radio story on Backyard Ballistics. August 27, 2010.
  4. ^ Backyard Ballistics Teacher's Guide 2003
  5. ^ Homeschool article on inexpensive science curriculum 2004
  6. ^ Mungen, C.E., Internal Ballistics of a Pneumatic Potato Cannon. Eur. J. Phys. 30 (2009) 453–457
  7. ^ Courtney, M., Acoustic Methods for Measuring Bullet Velocity. Applied Acoustics 69 (2008) 925–928
  8. ^ Frank, M., et al., When backyard fun turns to trauma: risk assessment of blunt ballistic impact trauma due to potato cannons.International Journal of Legal Medicine. Volume 126, Number 1, 13-18.

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