1D60.30 Monkey Hunter


Projectile motion


A monkey (held by an electromagnet) in a "tree" will fall when startled by blowgun fire (which breaks a wire to cut off the electromagnet current). The question for students is this: where should the gun be pointed to strike the monkey? Should it be aimed above, below, or straight at the monkey? (Answer: straight at the monkey).



  • [1] Mounted blowgun
  • [1] Mounted electromagnet
  • [1] Bullet
  • [1] Current supply
  • [1] Monkey or can
  • [1] Mounting pole for monkey or can
  • [1] Foam
  • [1] Extension cord
  • [1] Long double banana cable
  • [1] Stick
  • [1] Ethanol bottle
  • [1] Box of wipes

Classroom Assembly

  1. Sanitize the blowpipe with ethanol and a wipe.
  2. Connect the electromagnet to the blowpipe with strain-relieved cables.
  3. Connect wire across the blowpipe exit.
  4. Set the current supply to the appropriate output (monkey: 0.5 A; can: 1.5 A).
  5. Set switch to "off" position.
  6. Lay down the foam under the "tree."
  7. Test magnet's ability to hold monkey/can.
  8. Turn off the current.
  9. Check the aim of the blowpipe.
  10. Lock the wheels on the "tree" cart.

Important Notes

  • Practicing this demo before class is highly recommended.
  • Make sure no one is in the line of fire should the bullet miss or riccochet.
  • The stick is to push a bullet out of the tube in case it gets stuck.
  • Remember to turn off current to the electromagnet when not in use. The magnet can get very hot.
  • The bullets are very easy to lose. Please try to recover them after firing.
  • When attaching the thin wire to the blowpipe, make sure to loop the wire around the holder at least once on each side.


  1. Double-check the aim of the blowpipe.
  2. Insert the bullet.
  3. Turn on the current.
  4. Take a deep breath and blow out the bullet.
  5. Turn off the current.
  6. Find the bullet.


Additional Resources


  • PIRA 1D60.30


  • Don't attempt this at home!

Last revised

  • 2020


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If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.