Friday, October 16, 2009

Bullet the blue sky

With apologies to U2 for borrowing their title...

You know how the internet is a bastion of wild and crazy videos? Sometimes you see something that leaves people talking about it around the water cooler: "Hey, did you see the one with the baby carriage under the train?" (for reference, here's that link)

And now, to use the term of the infamous comedy group, Monty Python, who was just lauded with a BAFTA, for something completely different.

I came across this link via a link from a military related blog that I read. It's about bullets. Now, before you roll your eyes to the sky about how such a topic could be interesting, bear with me.

Have you ever seen a rifle bullet spinning as it passes through the air? How about impart spiral grooves to the expanding mass of ballistics gel? These are just two of the things that you can see when you watch this ten minute video. In a video worthy of the MythBusters, Werner Mehl from Kurzzeit puts together a video, music by others I believe, of some super high speed footage. How fast is super? 1000 frames per second? 10,000 fps? Not even close. This is purported to be short at one million frames per second. Yeah, 1,000,000 fps. That in itself is pretty amazing.

I was fascinated to watch how different bullets impacted on the steel plates. How bullets reacted when hit with ball bearings (? - not sure what they were) in flight was pretty wild. To see the side of a bullet sheared off when it hits the edge of armour plate was cool. The... unpeeling of a rifle round as it self-destructs against armour plate, including the play of reflection on the metal as it continues to spiral against the plate was indeed fascinating. It also shows the effects of hollow point bullets against ballistics gel.

The lessons today?
1. technology allows us to see some pretty cool things that are otherwise unviewable
2. always set the brake on the baby carriage on a windy day

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