The Un­be­liev­able Physics Of Ric­o­chets

Ric­o­chet­ing bul­lets are feared by even the most ex­pe­ri­enced sol­diers. But al­though they are un­pre­dictable and ex­tremely danger­ous, they also act ac­cord­ing to the laws of na­ture

World of Knowledge (Australia) - - Contents -

How re­bound­ing bul­lets can quickly prove fa­tal

The time for ne­go­ti­a­tion is over: Man Haron Mo­nis has just shot one of the 18 hostages he is hold­ing cap­tive –with­out warning. An elite unit of Aus­tralian po­lice of­fi­cers storms the Lindt cafe in down­town Syd­ney, fir­ing more than 20 shots at the Is­lamist ter­ror­ist. Thir­teen bul­lets hit him; the rest slam into the walls. Mo­nis is killed and the mis­sion ap­pears to have been a suc­cess. But as the smoke clears, the true cost of the op­er­a­tion be­comes ap­par­ent: three hostages have been in­jured and 34-year-old Ka­t­rina Daw­son has been fa­tally hit. The events of 15th De­cem­ber 2014 end in a blood­bath. Did Mo­nis re­turn fire? No. Foren­sic anal­y­sis re­veals that Daw­son was “struck by six frag­ments of a po­lice bul­let or bul­lets, which ric­o­cheted from hard sur­faces into her body.” These bul­lets al­tered their flight path and flew through the room like shrap­nel. But how ex­actly do ric­o­chets form? Can they be avoided? World of Knowl­edge ex­plores the physics be­hind these volatile pro­jec­tiles.

Bul­lets can be deadly even af­ter im­pact. Ric­o­chets can claim more lives than reg­u­lar shots.

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