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Electromagnetic induction is one of the coolest topics I get to teach in AP Physics and a railgun is a practical application of that content area that just amazes both me and my students.  Back in December of 2010, the Office of Naval Research successfully conducted a world-record 33 megajoule electromagnetic railgun shot. 

This 33 megajoule railgun shot means the navy could fire projectiles at least 110 nautical miles away without the use of explosives and chemicals.  To put this energy output into perspective, you could launch 33 Smart Cars at a velocity of 100 miles per hour with this amount of energy. 

The projectile launched by this electromagnetic railgun was traveling at a speed of Mach 7.5 or seven and a half times the speed of sound.

Check out the video of the world-record electromagnetic railgun:

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