NCBI ROFL: Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull?

By ncbi rofl | October 15, 2009 3:00 pm

“Beer bottles are often used in physical disputes. If the bottles break, they may give rise to sharp trauma. However, if the bottles remain intact, they may cause blunt injuries. In order to investigate whether full or empty standard half-litre beer bottles are sturdier and if the necessary breaking energy surpasses the minimum fracture-threshold of the human skull, we tested the fracture properties of such beer bottles in a drop-tower. Full bottles broke at 30 J impact energy, empty bottles at 40 J. These breaking energies surpass the minimum fracture-threshold of the human neurocranium. Beer bottles may therefore fracture the human skull and therefore serve as dangerous instruments in a physical dispute.”

Thanks to Pierre P. for today’s ROFL!

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  • Ivar

    OK, I see the use in forensic science; yet: Is the study not giving murderers more tools, rather than help forensic scientists? Isn’t this more likely to be used as trivia in a fight, than in an investigation?


  • Jockaira

    This is worthwhile science…I can see the information solving a lot of barroom conflicts before they deteriorate to an outright brawl with possible injuries…however I can also see it causing many fights when challenges are issued for citations.

    In my own case it will have little effect, except that I may throw away my brassknucks (illegal almost everywhere) in preference to easily available, and almost as effective, empty beer bottles from the nearest dumpster…one concussion lite, coming up!


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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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