AK-47 vs Prince Rupert's Drop (at 223,000 FPS) - Smarter Every Day 170 | Summary and Q&A

April 30, 2017
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AK-47 vs Prince Rupert's Drop (at 223,000 FPS) - Smarter Every Day 170


Different types of bullets, including pointy ones and high-velocity rounds, can easily destroy Prince Rupert's Drops, causing them to emit light through a phenomenon called triboluminescence.

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Key Insights

  • 🍳 Pointy bullets create more localized stress on Prince Rupert's Drops and are more effective at breaking them.
  • 💦 Higher velocity rounds have a greater impact on the drops, causing them to shatter more easily.
  • 🙂 Triboluminescence, the light emission phenomenon, has been known for centuries but still lacks a complete scientific understanding.
  • 🚄 The AK-47 round successfully shattered the Prince Rupert's Drop, proving that bullets with higher mass can easily break them.
  • 🥺 The host was inspired by a letter from a young fan named Paisley, leading to the creation of a shirt with Prince Rupert's Drops design.
  • 👻 The host recommends the book "Ready Player One" and discusses it in an upcoming podcast episode.


Hey, it's me Destin welcome back to Smarter Every Day I've been waiting on a sunny day to do this. You remember the last video I fired a 38 special versus a Prince Rupert's drop, and the Prince Rupert's drop won. Well, we're going to fix that today We've got the high speed camera back out, and even though it beat full metal jacket rounds last time ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why did the host use different types of bullets to shoot the Prince Rupert's Drops?

The host wanted to test the effects of pointy bullets and different velocities on breaking the drops. By using a range of firearms and bullets, he aimed to determine which ones were most effective.

Q: What is triboluminescence?

Triboluminescence is a phenomenon where certain materials emit light when they are broken, crushed, or scraped. In the case of the Prince Rupert's Drops, the drops emit light when shattered by bullets due to the high stress on their structures.

Q: Why is triboluminescence still not fully understood?

Despite being documented in the 1600s, scientists still do not completely understand the mechanisms behind triboluminescence. The complex physics and chemistry involved make it a fascinating and ongoing research topic.

Q: Did the AK-47 round successfully break the Prince Rupert's Drop?

Yes, the AK-47 round was able to break the Prince Rupert's Drop, resulting in a localized light emission. It demonstrated that higher mass bullets with more energy can easily shatter the drops.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The host uses various firearms, including a Mini-14, AK-47, and Mosin Nagant, to shoot at Prince Rupert's Drops.

  • Pointy bullets and higher-velocity rounds are more effective at breaking the drops.

  • The drops emit light through triboluminescence when broken, revealing a scientific phenomenon that has fascinated researchers for centuries.

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