Question

A rail launcher is a system designed to launch a spacecraft using magnetic forces. The launcher consists of two parallel metal rails connected to a power supply.A metal slider carries the spacecraft on the rails. Figure 4 shows the spacecraft and slider on the rails. The distance between the points where the slider makes contact with each rail is 1.5 m.

When the power supply is switched on there is a constant current I in the rails and slider. The current in the rails produces a magnetic field that passes through the slider.This magnetic field can be assumed to be vertical in the region of the slider.A force Facts on the slider. State and explain the direction of the magnetic field in the slider.Refer to the direction of F in your answer. In one test of the system, the slider and spacecraft are initially at rest at X in Figure 5.The power supply is switched on and the magnetic field that passes through the slider has an average flux density of 2.5 T.The magnitude of F is 1.8 x 107 N. Calculate I. 1The total mass of the spacecraft and slider is 125 kg. The spacecraft and slider travel 250 m before reaching the launch point.The launch point is 85 m higher than X. Assume that the magnitude of F is constant and always acts in the same direction asthe velocity of the slider.1ILL Friction and drag forces are negligible. Determine the speed of the spacecraft and slider when they reach the launch point. Scientists want to increase the launch speed of the spacecraft from the value obtainedin the test. The launch point remains 85 m higher than the starting position. The gain in potential energy is negligible compared to the gain in kinetic energy.The current remains constant as the slider moves along the rails. One scientist suggests increasing the launch speed by increasing the horizontal section of the rails so that the total length travelled by the slider is doubled. Discuss the effect that this change would have on the launch speed. The average flux density of the magnetic field in the region of the slider is directlyproportional to the current in the rails. A different scientist suggests increasing the launch speed by doubling the current in-the rails and slider. Discuss the effect that doubling the current would have on the launch speed.

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