A lot of bottle
Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16
A paper by a team of forensic pathologists calculated the energy required to break beer bottles in order to determine whether they were capable of fracturing a human skull. They determined that full bottles were broken by 30 J of work done whereas empty bottles shattered by a transfer of around 40 J (based on sample of six bottles). The breaking energies were calculated by dropping a 1 kg steel ball onto the bottles in a materials’ testing drop tower. The authors report that electrohydraulic experiments with human cadavers had found that skull fractures occurred in different regions of the skull at energies between 14.1 J and 68.5 J. They conclude that beer bottles may act as formidable weapons.