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Physics of Archery



With books and films like The Hunger Games, it would seem that archery is getting a lot more attention than usual. Many students in high school have an archery unit in their gym class. Some may not realize it, but a lot of physics is involved in archery. When an arrow is drawn back the bow stores mechanical potential energy. The force the person applies to the bow is called the Draw Weight, which bends the limbs of the bow and adds elastic potential energy. In this way the bow is kind of like a spring that stores the energy put into a bow. When the arrow is released the potential energy becomes kinetic energy. If there is only a little potential energy and therefore little kinetic energy, the arrow won't reach its target, but if it does it will stick firmly in the target.


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