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A compact power source is required for electromagnetic launching. Energy is most compactly stored in chemical form. Batteries have the advantage of releasing chemical energy directly in electrical form, but their internal resistance is too high. A combined energy storage coil and pulse transformer can compensate for this disadvantage and automatically provide the inductive output that suits railguns. The best transformer geometry is the 'external field toroid' wound with coaxial cable, which enables up to 99.9% of the primary energy to be transferred to the secondary and which can be wound so as to greatly reduce compressive forces.