Madadian AssassinScience brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.
In Madadia, a rather strange and misguided assassin, from his hidden position, uses a high-powered rifle to shoot someone in the foot from 50 feet away. The bullet travels at 1300 feet per second. Both the person being shot at and the assassin are at sea level. What will be the first evidence to the person of the attack?
AnswerAlthough being a mixed-up assassin, the body does state that he hid himself well and you did not see the actual flash of the gun (and for some reason was aiming for your foot). The speed of sound is approximately 1129 feet per second at sea level. The sound will reach the target's ears in .044 seconds. The bullet will hit his foot in .038 seconds. So much for dodging the bullet on this one. But I asked which would be the first evidence to the person of the attack
- and that would be the sound, because once the bullet hits his foot, the pain impulse must travel the myelinated A-fibers to his brain at 330 feet per second. Assuming he is at least five feet tall, that's an extra .015 seconds onto the trip.
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