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Name: Unknown
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Date: Around 1993

Do magnetically powered "rail guns" recoil less?

No. No kind of gun can be truly recoil less. Newton's third law, the conservation of momentum, guarantees this. Even a laser has some recoil, since photons have momentum. In the rail gun, the momentum given to the projectile must be matched by the momentum given to the "stationary" part of the gun. If the gun is firmly anchored, this momentum is given to the entire mass of the planet and you will not see much recoil. But the force on the gun during the launch will be quite high, equal to the force on the projectile.


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