Season 4 Episode 12

Steam Cannon

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jul 19, 2006 on Discovery Channel
out of 10
User Rating
40 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Archimedes is on Mythbusters again! This time it's his Steam Cannon and the results are amazing as Adam and Jamie build the mother of all cannons. While in Breakfast Cereal, an eating competition puts Adam's Mom to the test! What's healthier? The cereal or the box itself?moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Oh, this was a very good episode, Adam and Jamie try to make one of their most impressive cannons. (the key word is try) They also take on the myth of which is more nutritious: cereal or the cardboard box?moreless

    Definetly a classic episode, Adam and Jamie try their hand at another of Archimdes' inventions. This time it's the steam cannon. The main concept behhind itis if one heats up a metal compartment attached to a long pipe or cannon, and then dumps water into it, the water will rapidly be transformed into steam, and therefore the expanding steam should propel a projectile out of the cannon. The mythbusters make a valiant effort, but to no avail, then could not get the cannon to work based on the specifications of the myth. So instead they converted it, so that the water is heated directly, and trapped in the compartment. When enough pressure builds up, they release the valve, and off went the cannon ball. This worked wondefully, even with only about one third of the pressure that they wanted, the ball fly hundreds of metres. The next myth they tackled was the nutritous cardboard myth. They quickly realized that the sugary cereal we all eat in the morning (corn pops for me) still has more nutritious value than the cardboard box. Big surprise, eh? Then a quick and simple chemical anylysis confirmed thier findings. Ah, the wonders of Chemistry. All in all, this was a very good episode, and recomned it to any fan or mechanical or the such enthusiast.moreless
  • I have seen on tv a working steam cannon! I have poured over the internet trying to find the video.

    the differance was the firing mech. You are predisposed to firing on an instant. In a bombardment of a city (a seige)or such it is not necessary to have instant triggering. The method the person was using (with cannon balls) was in order, a sort of wad, then ball, then a lenght of stick that reached the end of the barrel. The stick held the ball in place while the pressure rose at which time somthing was triggered to unlease the stick at which time the stick shot out ahead of the ball and then fell away from the ball like a modern sabot. It really went flying. Similar to your last try with the boiler and butterfly valve. If you do some research you can find it I think it was on the channel the Man show is on. It worked well, really well with just the brazer and water and such and no fancy valving. I do not remember the extent of the firing mech but it was very simple. As I have stated it was shown on TV. It is out there proof that it works!!!!moreless
  • Classic Mythbusters feel

    This was the best Mythbusters episode in quite some time. While I have enjoyed every episode they've put out, the recent ones seemed to be lacking a bit in enthusiasm (though I suspect that was mostly due to what myths they were working on). Also, with the exception of a brief Grant appearance, this episode was all Adam and Jamie. Tory and Kari have their moments, and are definately preferred to some of the previous build-team members, but for me Adam and Jamie are the best part of the show, and the reason I love watching it.

    That being said, the steam cannon was something to be excited about. Was it possible to create a steam cannon with 2000 year old technology? They did only show one of two ancient designs, but the most likely reasons are a) design two was too similar to design one, b) design two was too vague to accurately recreate, or c) time limitations, probably in conjucture with a or b. And that's just fine with me, as we get more time to see Adam and Jamie's uber modern design in action.

    The myth about the cereal box having more nutrition than the cereal itself had completely obvious results, but it was such a small part of the episode, that it didn't really detract too much, and provided a bit of comic relief between steam cannon builds.

    Overall, an excellent episode.moreless
  • Steam Cannon myth

    Tonight they did 2 myths -- Steam Cannon and Cereal vs Cereal box calorie competition -- it was amusing, but when they did the cannon part, in the beginning they mentioned that there were 2 different cannon designs -- one attributed to Archimedes by Leonardo da Vinci and another by a different greek mechanic (I don't remember the name), but they only tested that other guy's design for the cannon (which flopped miserably).

    The cereal vs cardboard tests were interesting if somewhat obvious -- paper proved to be much less energetic than sugary cereal

    Overall it was a very good show, I just wish they tested both cannon designs.


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