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Conservation of Momentum in One Dimension

Use conservation of momentum to solve collision problems in one dimension

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Body Armor

Body Armor

Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Marton Anton Edgil
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2ID_Recon_Baghdad.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Standard armor used by the 75th Ranger Regiment between 1990 to 2000s. Weighing in at approximately 10 lbs, this armor was developed to provide protection up to ballistic threat level IIIA.

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Credit: Johnny Shumate
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ancient_Greece_hoplite_with_his_hoplon_and_dory.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

An ancient Hoplight warrior equipped with his weapon and body armor [Figure2]

  • Throughout history there have been countless variations of body armor. From as early as the Roman Empire, armies have used various forms of protective clothing to prevent injury on the battlefield. 
  • While there are many variations, they all can be broken down into two types: soft body armor or hard body armor. Soft body armor is traditionally used when the threat is from standard bullets or knives, while hard armor is for the high risk scenarios seen by tactical units or soldiers. 
  • Each type of armor traditionally is made up of two sections, soft inner panels and the outer carrier. The outer section can simply been seen as a casing to hold the special panels that are inside, because without the panels, there is no protection.
  • The soft inner panels are traditionally made from a very lightweight and durable polymer such as Kevlar. This polymer's main purpose in armor is to absorb as much of the kinetic energy and momentum of whatever strikes it. Through patented forms of weaving the polymer to the number of actual layers used, Kevlar based body armor is able to stop some ballistics that most other materials cannot.
  • Learn more about how body armor works: http://science.howstuffworks.com/body-armor.htm

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Using the information provided above, answer the following questions.

  1. Is blunt force trauma a result of the kinetic energy of the bullet or a result of the moment?
  2. Why would the best armor be the one that can include the most mass?
  3. Why must the armor be lightweight for it to be effective?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Marton Anton Edgil; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2ID_Recon_Baghdad.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Johnny Shumate; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ancient_Greece_hoplite_with_his_hoplon_and_dory.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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