The Physic of Paintball
I.The Fundamentals of the Game of Paintball.
Paintball is a sport that is still fairly new in the world being not much more that a decade old. This game as with other sports would not be possible without physics. Physics is essential to the game of paintball. Some of physics that are involved in paintball are pressurized gas, projectile motion, and the impulse of being hit by a paintball.
As with all sports there is necessary equipment needed to play. The most important piece of equipment would be the paintball gun often called a marker. The marker uses compressed carbon dioxide to propel the .68 caliber paintballs. Small carbon dioxide tanks are connected to the paintball markers the tanks vary in size from 4-24 ounces. The paintballs are stored in a hopper that attaches to the top of the marker. The paintballs are gravity fed into the gun. Paintball is a contact sport and there is some important equipment involved is protecting oneself. Unlike football and hockey it is not other bodies you will come in contact with, but small plastic balls filled with paint from an array of colors. The protective equipment used consists of a mask that not only covers the eyes of the user but covers the entire face back to the ears. Some masks will also cover up the forehead. The mask is really the only required piece of protective equipment but other gear often used is gloves, knee and elbow pads, and somewhat baggy clothes (to help slow a paintball as it impacts) and jock cup for men might also come in useful.
With the equipment described above there are innumerable games that can be played. Today there are even paintball teams and leagues that play professionally. Paintball has even been known to be used for training in the military to help simulate real combat situations.
II.The Physics of Pressurized Gas.
Pressure caused by gases and gases being placed under pressure is used in our everyday life. Without the use of gases we would be unable to fly in airplanes, play basketball or even have carbonated drinks. “Gases exert pressure on any surface with which they come in contact, because gas molecules are constantly in motion. We humans have adapted so well psychologically to the pressure of the air around us that we are usually unaware of it” (Chang 155). The equation often used to measure the pressure of gases is the ideal gas equation P=nRT/V. Where P is the pressure of the gas in atm, n is the number of moles of gas, R is the proportionality constant (0.0821 L*atm) T is the temperature in Kelvin of the gas, and V is the volume the gas occupies (Chang 160).
The gas used with paintball in is pressurized carbon dioxide. The gas is under high pressure in small cylinders. The high pressure is created by forcing large amounts of gas into a finite area. According to the equation given above the more gas forced into a restricted volume the pressure will increase.
III.Projectile Motion of Paintballs.