Q: How much pressure does it take to burst someone's chest open? A: Lots
Around the time of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson decided to spoil everyone’s fun by imposing actual physics on its far-away universe. Would BB-8 actually be able to roll on sand? Would TIE fighters actually make any sound in space? Are Roman Numerals actually a viable counting method in the 21st century? Stuff like that.
Now two Australian scientists have done the same thing with Alien: Covenant, out tomorrow, on Aussie-founded academic site The Conversation. Michael Milford (Associate professor, Queensland University of Technology) and Juxi Leitner (Research Fellow, Robotics & AI, QUT) ask questions like: Can glass withstand insane pressure? Would 20 crewmates want to kill each other after years on a ship? How much force would an alien need to break out of someone’s chest? Here’s what they reckoned.
1. Wouldn’t this glass panel break?
Maybe, maybe not.
Over at The Conversation the science-men did some complex maths that they’re modestly downplaying as ‘back of the envelope calculations’. Ultimately they decided that the pressure exerted on the glass by the alien’s head in the above clip was 18,130 Pascals per square inch, which may or not make the glass break. They explain: “tough tempered glass is known to break at somewhere in the 10,000 to 24,000 PSI range, so it looks like it could be touch and go”.