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Brittle Bullet
October 8, 2009 9:58 PM   Subscribe

1,000,000FPS video of bullet impacts. Stay tuned for the glass, ballistics gel, and bullets impacting each other in the air.

Warning: unnecessary techno music.

More compilation videos of slow motion impacts on mattrece's channel; videos of individual impacts with technical details can be found on the creator's site.
posted by Rinku (53 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
Just a warning, turn down your speakers unless you want to feel like you're in a German nightclub. Very cool video. I watched the entire ten minutes right away and was mesmerized.
posted by I, Slobot at 10:12 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's pretty amazing looking, but I had to turn it off after about three minutes. I started getting really creeped out like I was watching some sort of totally illicit torture/snuff porn or something. I have no idea why I had that reaction. Weird.
posted by dersins at 10:13 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hypnotic. I wasn't planning on watching the whole ten minutes. And yet.
posted by painquale at 10:14 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


This might replace rocket explosion montages as my new favourite YouTube activity!

Thanks for the music warning.
posted by futureisunwritten at 10:16 PM on October 8, 2009


Hypnotic. This is the video to show all 9-11 truther's when they insist that the buildings had to be wired with demolition explosives because fire can make buildings collapse like that.

Bullets are solid. Steel plates are solid. But when one hits another, the bullet behaves a lot more like a liquid drop than a solid mass. Under extreme conditions, there is no such thing as "center of mass" - objects are reduced to collections of individual point massess, each undergoing its own unique collision.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:24 PM on October 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


My biggest trouble is figuring out if the film clip is copyrighted.
posted by maxwelton at 10:24 PM on October 8, 2009 [22 favorites]


That was excellent.

My favorite part is how the materials act as if they're in a different phase. The lead/copper bullets flow like liquid. The glass shatters like a solid. The metal plate acts like wet sand. The ballistics gel acts almost like a gas.

As a shooter, I also appreciate getting to watch the hollowpoints open up. The pistol rounds opened up far sooner than I'd expected. And it took forever for the rifle rounds to open up. The lighter rifle rounds, designed to tumble, started tumbling way before the hollowpoint rounds even began to open. Very interesting. Unfortunately, I'm required by law to use a hollowpoint for hunting.
posted by Netzapper at 10:33 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the video to show all 9-11 truther's when they insist that...

Yeah, this will probably do the trick.
posted by Camofrog at 10:42 PM on October 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nice. Thanks for posting this. I wish he had showed the shotgun pellets earlier in the video, they were fun to watch.
posted by Horatius at 10:46 PM on October 8, 2009


From the video description:
"These are by far the best slow motion bullet impacts available anywhere."

That's right, folks! Do not be fooled by imitators. Get your Gen-yoo-wine Werner Mehl slow motion bullet impacts here! Beware of copycats! Others may claim to be the best slow motion bullet impacts, but they do not match our quality! We guarantee satisfaction! If you can find a slow motion bullet impact that is slower, more motiony, better bullets, or contains more impact for your dollar, we will refund your money, AND pay you $100 cash money!
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:51 PM on October 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Beautiful, and terrifying.
posted by rtha at 11:00 PM on October 8, 2009


This makes me long for a Gaeta-cam/Matrix-effect setup with these high framerate film cameras to capture all 360 degrees of visibility on the X- and Y-axes. I'd also like to see the results using an interface which will allow me more control over how quickly/slowly I go through the frames.

At the same time it gives me chills when I watch this and visualize what the rounds would do in a human body.
posted by ooga_booga at 11:21 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Get your Gen-yoo-wine Werner Mehl slow motion bullet impacts here!

Well, the company sells the cameras to do this . And they are the best slo-mo photography I've ever seen - I favorited instantly to use as reference material for visual effects. My mind is blown.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:22 PM on October 8, 2009


I liked watching the FMJ rifle rounds turn briefly into flowers as the jacket split.
posted by agentofselection at 11:22 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


My favorite part is how the materials act as if they're in a different phase. The lead/copper bullets flow like liquid. The glass shatters like a solid.

That's because it (the glass) is a solid.
posted by delmoi at 12:01 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


delmoi: so is the lead & copper, but they behave completely differently. That's what's interesting.
posted by pharm at 12:33 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong to be aroused by this?
posted by chavenet at 1:29 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


hypnotic and beautiful.
posted by exlotuseater at 1:34 AM on October 9, 2009


That's because it (the glass) is a solid.

Well, yes and no. Glass is actually an amorphous solid, which behaves more like a liquid in the long term, and does not have a regular solid's molecular structure.

And amorphous solids have a very characteristic way in which they break: like glass, into large formless shards. You can see this with other amorphous solids, like candy and several plastics. Compare this to a crystaline solid, like quartz, which tends to shatter into many tiny copies of itself; or to heterogeneous solids, like wood, which tend to simply break and deform at the point of impact.

Hit with a bullet, viewed at high speed, the glass gives way like the metal or the wood did.

But, you're right, I was imprecise.
posted by Netzapper at 1:36 AM on October 9, 2009


more like a liquid in the long term

Uh, you're not suggesting that glass flows, are you? Because that's obviously incorrect.
posted by ryanrs at 2:25 AM on October 9, 2009


Uh, you're not suggesting that glass flows, are you? Because that's obviously incorrect.

He said in the long term. It's theorized that eventually the Sun will heat up and expand, increasing the temperature of Earth, and while we won't necessarily be around to observe it, that glass will start a-flowin'.
posted by explosion at 4:03 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Glass does flow, at normal temperatures, just very slowly. 100-year old glass windows are measurably thicker at the bottom compared to the top. (I've read somewhere).
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:22 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


tf;dw
posted by i_cola at 4:29 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is amazing stuff! The Edgerton Center at MIT does a lot of stuff like this too - very fun to watch. There are a few seconds of shotgun footage at the very end. The bullets going through (what I think were) ice cubes made awesome videos.

The bullets hitting the paper targets made pretty circular ripples in the paper. I was also a big fan of watching the backside of the metal plates when the bullets came through - the faint blast wave of vaporized metal was pretty sweet to watch.

Thanks - best of the web.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:51 AM on October 9, 2009


sorry for quoting Wiki, but old glass is not thicker at the bottom because it's a liquid, it's because it was made that way...
posted by twine42 at 5:09 AM on October 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


I know nothing about bullets or guns, but that was very cool and very hypnotic. The way some of the rounds (presumably the hollow-points) peeled down the riffling lines was incredible. I'd also, for some reason, expected the rounds to crush like a tin can, not apparently melt and reset...
posted by twine42 at 5:12 AM on October 9, 2009


Uh, you're not suggesting that glass flows, are you? Because that's obviously incorrect.

Apparently, I was wrong. Kinda. Although it isn't "obviously" incorrect to me. A non-crystalline solid very well might flow; a gel can flow without ceasing to be a gel.

It's apparently a big ol' myth. Old glass is often thicker at the bottom because old glass was imprecisely made, and the thick part had to go somewhere. The distribution of the thicker part is apparently statistically random.

However, it should be noted that glass does have a viscosity. A chunk of quartz does not. So, while colonial windows haven't flowed, and Egyptian glasswork hasn't flowed, glass certainly can flow. It's just that, like breaking RSA, the heat death of the universe comes beforehand:
Even germanium oxide glass, which flows more easily than other types, would take 10 to the 32 power years to sag, (that's a 10 with 32 zeros) Zanotto calculates. Medieval stained glass contains impurities that could lower the viscosity and speed the flow, but even a significant reduction wouldn't alter the conclusion, he remarks, since the age of the universe is only 10 to the 10th power.
[source as linked]
Anyway, none of this changes the fact that amorphous solids shatter differently than regular solids. Which is all I meant to say. Except that, in fact, at high enough speed, you can see the temporary deformations which appear similar to the permanent deformations you see in a regular solid after shattering. Which is all I was really talking about in the first place.
posted by Netzapper at 5:12 AM on October 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


What are the hammer-headed bullets at around 4:32?
posted by boo_radley at 5:51 AM on October 9, 2009


those look like .22 cal pellets from an air rifle...given that they are barely able to penetrate the glass, it stands to my early-morning reason at any rate. not a whole lot of velocity on those.
posted by rhythim at 6:00 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


What are the hammer-headed bullets at around 4:32?

rhythim is correct. Except that they might be .177 cal as well. No way to tell without a scale reference, since they appear identical except for size.

not a whole lot of velocity on those.

This is incorrect, though. There's a lot of velocity on an air rifle round. My $100 air rifle (a simple spring-driven model) shoots its projectiles faster than a .45 pistol, doing roughly 1000-1100fps--you can hear the sonic boomcrack. You can easily get 1200-1600fps from an air rifle. The reason it barely shatters the glass is because it has very little mass, and so very little momentum. But that's no fault of the air rifle, that's the fault of the caliber chosen for modern air rifles.

In fact, in the 17th and 18th centuries, some of the the finest big game hunting guns in the world were air rifles. They were even used in the military of some countries.

Don't ever sneer at an air rifle. It is every bit as much a weapon as any firearm. It can kill you.
posted by Netzapper at 6:32 AM on October 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Heh. I like the shotgun rounds at the end. Sort of like the finale in a fireworks show.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:23 AM on October 9, 2009


Huh. This is cool, but for a lot of these shots I am not at all certain just what I am looking at. Would be nice if they were annotated or something.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:23 AM on October 9, 2009


Besides shooting stuff, I cant think of what else is fun to see in fast-slow-motion. Suggestions?
posted by dearsina at 7:33 AM on October 9, 2009


dearsina: Water falling is pretty good too.
posted by Jilder at 7:44 AM on October 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Those were cool as shit! Definitely better than NASA's video. Some of them reminded me of how when I was a teenager out plinking with my .22 I found an old engine block. I would shoot it (from a distance) and little droplets of presumably molten lead would fly everywhere, and there would be a little splash mark left on the engine block as if it had been hit by a metallic raindrop.

The little side debate about the viscosity of glass reminded me of the job I had in a dental materials research lab the summer after college. Among other things I measured the viscosity of dental ceramics. That involved making precisely sized bars of different types of ceramic putting them in a furnace, hanging weights from them, and measuring how much they bent. This abstract describes that sort of thing. So without a doubt glass does flow, albeit at around 1000 degrees.
posted by TedW at 7:44 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Besides shooting stuff, I cant think of what else is fun to see in fast-slow-motion. Suggestions?

Things exploding. Drops of liquid splashing. Uhh...super-fast shrimp claws?
posted by jedicus at 8:04 AM on October 9, 2009


That was an awesome video, thanks for linking it. I had no idea cameras as fast as a million FPS even existed! Folks might be interested in a show on the Discovery Channel called Time Warp that's all about showing cool stuff happening in slow motion. If we're making a list of must-see videos on the web, I'm a fan of facepunching (Quicktime, previously) and Jell-O (Vimeo, previously).
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:19 AM on October 9, 2009


It's apparently a big ol' myth.

I appreciate being corrected on this matter! (And promise to stop perpetuating the myth.)
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:43 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the solid liquid thing, the bullets easily could be a liquid shortly after impact due to the heat generated by friction and deformation.
posted by no_moniker at 8:54 AM on October 9, 2009


I knew that as soon as fast frame per second cameras became more widely available and accessible, that we'd start looking at the world differently. This and shows like Time Warp are wonderful example of it.

There really is something mesmerizing about seeing, in detail, something that your eye wouldn't normally even be able to register.

Also: I really want to take some of the more, er, penetrative bullet examples and get them synced up with a bow-chicka-wow-wow porn bass line.
posted by quin at 9:05 AM on October 9, 2009


Wow. Seeing solids behave like liquids on tiny time scales like that is amazing.

Does anyone know about the camera/equipment used to record this? Is the the "1 million FPS" figure accurate or just a rough guesstimation? The creator's site is down for me right now, so I'm not sure what can be found there.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 9:08 AM on October 9, 2009


This motion, it slows?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:20 AM on October 9, 2009


Favorited. I especially liked the part where the bullets hit stuff.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:01 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anybody know the image source of the bullet shredding a Jack of Diamonds on the front cover of Golden Earring's Cut LP (aka the one with "Twilight Zone" on it) ?
posted by jonp72 at 10:11 AM on October 9, 2009


jonp72: That was Harold Edgerton's "Bullet Through Jack." More from the artist here.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:26 AM on October 9, 2009


Loved the bullet cutting across the paper target at 4:23.

Also liked the bullet splitting in two as it hits the edge of a concrete block (this would have been around 7:00-8:00.

The image of the hollow-point bullets flaring out and rotating in that transparent block was more than a little bit disconcerting; I kept imagining the bullets doing that inside someone's abdominal cavity.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:47 AM on October 9, 2009


It would be nice to know what the various target materials were. Some, like metal or stone/concrete were sort of obvious. Some of the others looked like composites or something else.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:53 AM on October 9, 2009


i worked in a glass factory for over 4 years before getting laid off in may. glass in crazy science land is a liquid. i never completely wrapped my head around that. my experience where i was in the factory is that it didn't flow one bit but was often hot and would cut the shit out of you if you weren't careful. the guys who handled it in the process just before me had an absolutely different experience scooping molten glass out of a furnace and plopping it on the rolling table. down there at it's hottest it was very much like lava. it cools and hardens amazingly fast.

we never shot bullets at any of it but there was no shortage of breaking glass. all day long.
posted by rainperimeter at 12:01 PM on October 9, 2009


[that glass flows] it isn't "obviously" incorrect

You're right, it's not obvious. It is, however, fairly easy to test. You'll need a vise, a pair of optical flats, and a monochromatic light source. Use the light to observe that the flats are indeed flat. Then clamp one of the flats in the vise, suitably protected. Wait a while. Then verify that the flats are still flat (Newton's rings). Distortions of even half a wavelength would be readily apparent.

Not that I would expect you to spend several hundred bucks on flats and light sources, of course. But this myth seems to be oddly persistent, given how easy it is to disprove. You don't need hugely expensive instruments or large testing facilities. Anyone can do the experiment in their kitchen with stuff ordered off the web.
posted by ryanrs at 1:22 PM on October 9, 2009


That's because it (the glass) is a solid.

Well, yes and no. Glass is actually an amorphous solid, which behaves more like a liquid in the long term, and does not have a regular solid's molecular structure.

And amorphous solids have a very characteristic way in which they break: like glass, into large formless shards. You can see this with other amorphous solids, like candy and several plastics. Compare this to a crystaline solid, like quartz, which tends to shatter into many tiny copies of itself; or to heterogeneous solids, like wood, which tend to simply break and deform at the point of impact.

Hit with a bullet, viewed at high speed, the glass gives way like the metal or the wood did.

But, you're right, I was imprecise.


My friend the condensed-matter physicist says that the behavior of glass is an open problem in the field. I think he wrote a detailed explanation somewhere about a possible theory -- the uhh urr molecular structure doesn't tile in three dimensions uhh (like a metal?) urr. . . . I'll see if I can find it.
posted by grobstein at 8:31 PM on October 9, 2009


Yeah no. But Wikipedia has a lot on this: Physics of glass, Glass transition.
posted by grobstein at 8:36 PM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wished this bullet video had an even higher frame rate and resolution. yes, it's magnificent but clearly a bullet is so fast that there is still a lot going on that we can't fully appreciate.

in case anyone cares: this video was shot with a sprint cam at "just" 1000FPS and 2500FPS but it's very, very beautiful.

it also does not feature techno music.
posted by krautland at 5:13 AM on October 10, 2009


I recently got to deal with some really beautiful footage from a very new, hi-rez Weisscam- we were basically using a prototype. It only goes up to 4000 fps (ONLY) but the images are absolutely beautiful- digital color shots of berries falling into champagne, etc. When the job ended, I kind of wanted to walk up to the tech guy, pull on his sleeve and say, "Take me with you?"
posted by 235w103 at 9:54 PM on October 11, 2009


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