## Abstract

If a rifle bullet be fired against the end of a cylindrical steel rod, or some gun-cotton be detonated in its neighbourhood, a wave of pressure is transmitted along the rod with the velocity of sound. If the pressure in different sections of the rod be plotted at any instant of time, the abscissae being distances along the rod, then at a later time the same curve shifted through a distance proportional to the time will represent the then distribution of pressure. Also the same curve represents the relation between of the pressure across any section of the rod and the time, the scale of time being approximately 2 inches for 10^{-5} seconds. In particular it represents the relation between the total pressure applied to the end of the rod and the time, and the length of the curve represents the total duration of the blow. If the rod be divided at a point a few inches from the far end, the opposed surfaces of the cut being in firm contact and carefully faced, the wave of pressure travels practically unchanged through the joint. At the free end it is reflected as a wave of tension, and the pressure at any section is then to be obtained by adding the effects of the pressure wave and the tension wave. At the joint the pressure continues to act until the head of the reflected tension wave arrives there. If the tail of the pressure wave has then passed the joint the end-piece flies off, having trapped within it the whole of the momentum of the blow, and the rest of the rod is left completely at rest. The length of end-piece which is just sufficient completely to stop the rod is half the length of the pressure wave, and the duration of the blow is twice the time taken by the pressure wave to travel the length of the end-piece. Further, it is easy to see, as is proved in detail in the paper, that the momentum trapped in quite short end-pieces will be equal to the maximum pressure multiplied by twice the time taken by the wave in traversing the end-piece. Thus by experimenting with different lengths of end-pieces and determining the momentum with which each flies off the rod as- the result of the blow it is possible to measure both the duration of the blow and the maximum pressure developed by it. This is the basis of the experimental method described in the paper. A steel rod is hung up as a ballistic pendulum, and the piece is held on to the end by magnetic attraction.

## Footnotes

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- Received October 17, 1913.

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