A1_4 Biting the Bullet

Christopher Mander, Alistair Goodwin, Laura Horton, Luca James, Michael McKee


Catching a bullet between the teeth has been a magic trick from as early as 1586. Here we investigate if, assuming they were able to catch a bullet, human teeth can withstand the shear stress applied by the decelerating bullet. We find that the shear stress of catching a bullet along the molar teeth, 2.99 * 10^8 Pa, is 6.48 times greater than the maximum shear strength of human teeth. Additionally, we find that the number of pairs of molars needed to stop a bullet without reaching the maximum shear stress of human teeth is 20.

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