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The Beautiful Physics of Getting Slapped in the Face



We see it everywhere in the media, real life, and sometimes it can even happen to you. The sad, terrifying act of being slapped in the face.

Aside from hurting, what are the actual physics behind being unfortunate enough to get slapped?

1) Shown in slow motion, your face has incredibly present properties of intertia. If you look at the video, you can clearly see the skin and tissue stay put while the actual skeletal tissue underneath begins to move. This is because the dense bone moves, eventually dragging the rest of the tissue along with it. The force of friction applied throughout the first couple layers of your skin is not nearly as strong as the frictional force initiated deeper in your skull!

2) The Impulse applied when getting slapped can be quite massive. Impulses (Force times change in Time) delivered through a slap could be as large as 25000 J*S, assuming a Force of 50000 Newtons (yes, boxers can punch that hard) and a time of contact of .5 seconds.

When your cable's on the fritz, you get angry. When you're angry, you become irritated. When you become irritated, you make rude comments. When you make rude comments, you get slapped in the face. Don't get slapped in the face. Get rid of cable. Get DIRECTV.

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