How Fast Would Wonder Woman’s Lasso Need to Spin to Block Bullets?

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Photo: Warner Bros.
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Image: Warner Bros. From Wonder Woman 1984 trailer.
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  • Length of bullet (using the same bullets) = 1.3 cm to 2.1 cm (I mostly just estimated the length of the 9 mm.
  • Lasso diameter = 1 cm (guess).
  • Lasso length = 1.5 meters — of course this can change based on how much Wonder Woman choose to spin in her lasso shield.
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  • What if Wonder Woman wants to change the speed of the spinning lasso in order to perfectly hit a bullet? Let’s say that the lasso is spinning with a lower angular velocity (half of my calculated value). She see’s a bullet fired from a gun that is 10 meters away and it’s going to impact the shield at a location opposite the rope so that it has to travel π radians to block the bullet. What is the angular acceleration for this to happen?
  • What is the rotational kinetic energy of this spinning lasso (using my original rotation rate). You can assume the rope has a density the same as nylon — or change this to some value that makes you happy.
  • Estimate the power required for Wonder Woman to get this lasso spinning up to shield speed in 5 seconds.
  • Imagine that the lasso hits a bullet on the side during it’s rotation. Estimate the angular deflection of the bullet.

Written by

Physics faculty, science blogger of all things geek. Technical Consultant for CBS MacGyver and MythBusters. Former WIRED blogger.

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