17 thoughts on “How has the army not thought of this?”

  1. Well, let’s see…

    Bullets are made largely of lead, which has a mild magnetic response. Other metals, such as copper and zinc are also present, but mainly on the jacket, which tends to rather disentegrate. Furthermore, bullets move at a very high speed – the muzzle velocity for an M16 projectile is around 1100m/s, which is nearly 2500 mph.

    For any object in a curve trajectory, there must be a force with a component not paralell to the object’s velocity in effect. The magnitude of this force has to increase as the speed of the moving object increases and as the radius of the curve that is the trajectory decreases, meaning that, at short range, a deflecting a very fast projectile as little as from your abdomen to your head takes massive force. To exert such force with a magnet upon an object which doesn’t respond much to magnetism in the first place isn’t impossible, but it would require either a magnet much too large to carry upon one’s head or an electromagnet so powerful that it would be unsafe to assemble on a soldier’s uniform, not to mention that an adequate power source would be cumbersome, ungainly and possibly not portable at all (and, again, unsafe to lug about in a combat scenario).

    TL;DR: James Bond tried that once (it’s one of the Roger Moore ones); his Omega Seamaster has an alledgedly powerful enough magnet on the rim of the dial. It served him well enough to unzip the dress of the Italian lady spy he was with when Q (Desmond Llewelyn) handed him his new gear. Mythbusters weren’t impressed and addressed the issue (but do take Mythbusters with a grain of salt).

  2. As far as the physics involved, how about this little thought experiment: One slug hitting a man wearing a bullet-proof vest can knock the guy to the ground. What will happen to his head and neck if that bullet hits his helmet instead of the bullet-proof vest?

    • If a slug hitting a man in the chest could knock him down, then Newton’s Third Law would indicate that firing the shot would knock the shooter down. The reason someone falls down when you shoot them is that they have a hole in their chest, not the force of the impact.

      • You’re right, of course. I’ve known several men who have been shot and didn’t know it until after the fire fight was over and the adreneline levels have gone down. (I work with lots of combat vets.) I guess they would have noticed being knocked over. I’ll try to slow down and think first, remember what I know, and forget my TV/movie physics in future posts.

  3. The point of Troll Physics is to poke fun at an obviously impossible feat. In other words.. IT”S A JOKE!!! Take the rod thats jamed up all of your buttholes and get a sense of humor.

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