April 23, 2017

Brave Physicist Fires a Gun at Himself Underwater Because… Physics


Physics is typically thought of as a relatively boring field of study. Chemistry gets cool lab work. Biology classes dissect animals. For a lot of students, the most exciting physics ever got was dropping items from atop a school building. However, this video definitely makes textbook physics principles exciting and intriguing if not outright harrowing for the faint of heart.

This video taps into the physics surrounding air resistance versus water resistance. It’s harder to create movement in water than in air, which is why it’s harder to sprint in a shallow pool than it is to sprint on land. This is because water molecules are packed closer together than air molecules. To demonstrate that difference, physicist Andreas Wahl risked his reputation (and life) to fire a gun at himself and prove that science is right.

It’s almost like a scene in war movies or an escape movie. The villain is pursuing the hero and fires a gun into the water. The bullets go speeding past the hero’s head, narrowly missing him. Those scenes are definitely not what happens here.

Wahl counts down, pulls the rope to fire the gun, and the bullet travels down to the bottom of the pool. So, in short, those Hollywood scenes of bullets whizzing through water with no repercussions aren’t taking physics into account.

This video came out last year, but it remains one of the most fascinating and heart-pounding even for those who’ve already seen it.

Via NRK Viten

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