World's funniest video about making a rail gun

Mehdi Sadaghdar shows you how (not) to make a rail gun.


  1. Now there’s a newsletter to which I’ll subscribe.  Even without the unibrow dance it was hilarious.  But the dance, oh god, the dance…

    Okay, I gotta breathe…

  2. That was hilarious. But he made a “coil gun” not a “rail gun”. Rail guns are much weirder, harder to explain, and much much more dangerous.

  3. Wonderful how he found so many ways to do it wrong. I suspect that the circuit was destroyed at the end by the lack of a protection diode. Which is a waste of a big expensive power FET.

    1. Judging from my own adsense numbers, he’s probably pulled in close to 5 grand from that video.

    1. His other videos are fantastic as well.  You kind of wonder if he really has that many things go wrong, or it’s kind of a setup.  Either way I’m amused (and educated).

      1. I suspect it is mostly for the humor of it all. Though with most of my experiments and projects the video would look much the same if I didn’t take the time to edit all the mistakes out (like most people probably do).

      2. It’s a give away that he’s setting himself up once you reach the point where he shoots himself in the stomach.  Enjoyable all the same though.

        1. Hehe yes the more of the videos you watch the more you realize it’s his shtick.  I must say bravely done shtick especially knowing you’re going to get a kick when you do it.’

      3. You kind of wonder if he really has that many things go wrong, or it’s kind of a setup.

        No, I sense that to most watchers its as obviously a setup as WWE.

  4. Is he single? That’s all I want to know. Sexeh monobrow. Oh and the gun was okay, I guess. Girls would make them better, using bigger coils or protection diodes, etc. 

    We should objectify all videos of men for a few weeks, months, maybe even years?

  5. I don’t know why (maybe a denied script somewhere on my NoScript?), but ever since… forever, embedded Youtube (and many other videos) don’t seem to match up right on the main page.  If you actually click into the story they’re fine, but often when I refresh the main page I’ll get a video from an earlier story attached to a fresh story that also has a video link, and if I press play I see that one, rather the intended.

    In this particular case, the preview of this video has under the headline, in one instance, showed a scene from the Flintstones, and a little later I refreshed again and, under “World’s funniest video about making a rail gun” had a shot from Hungry Hungry Hippo.

    In both cases I was extremely disappointed because both the Flintstones attempting to make a railgun and making one out of the HHH game sound like they would be AWESOME.

    But the real video was also pretty fun.

    1. > ever since… forever, embedded Youtube (and many other videos) don’t seem to match up right on the main page.

      Same for me – and I’m not running noscript or anything else in the least exotic. I’ve actually noticed the problem less often recently, but I certainly know what you mean.

    1. working years in various facets of the electrical field

      Dude, get out of that electrical field.  Or get in a Faraday cage or something.  We’re worried about you.

      Also, fun is not a waste of time.

  6. Awesome video.  This is the kind of stuff that gets people interested in science and MAKEing.  So good.

  7. Nice standup act. I have a story that really happened.

    When I was a graduate student back in the 80’s, one of the undergraduate senior physics majors decided to build a rail gun as his senior project. He obtained a bank of massive capacitors from the local power company so he could get a nice big current. It worked quite well, propelling foil wrapped pencil erasers at a respectable speed.

    A postdoc from the quantum theory group (who shall remain nameless except to say his name was Lev) decided to take his intro physics class on a field trip upstairs to see the railgun in operation. He talked about it for a while, showed them how the capacitors charged, then wanted to point out some of the details. The capacitors had been placed behind the railgun so that would involve leaning over the rails. So he said “In order to be safe, I need to discharge the capacitors,” and with that, picked up a pair of needlenose pliers and laid them across the contacts.

    There was a sort of ethereal blue globe around the end of the pliers that spot welded some copper to them, accompanied by a loud clap of thunder that brought faculty running from the far end of the hall. Lev’s hair went up like Larry Fine’s and he levitated about a foot off the ground, coming to a landing on his ass.

    I think he had a hard time hearing for a while.

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