National Geographic Society

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In the Line of Fire

Gunpowder when lit and exposed in the open air, burns brightly and creates a loud bang, but does not create much force.

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Dashing British engineer Tim Shaw takes science to the streets, to the pubs and to the clubs, on a quest to figure out why things do what they do. In this episode, Tim puts teddy bears to the torch in the interest of science, and tests the penetrative power of an assault rifle. He challenges locals at an arcade to guess whether there is anything that can withstand the intense ray of a laser beam. He invites some car mechanics to witness what happens when raw meat meets 700-degree liquid lead.