Men in Black’s Noisy Cricket is CRAZY

– Would you break this dang thing, or would it break you? Let’s get technical. (neuralyzer whirs and fires) Would you break this dang thing, or would get break you? Let’s get technical. What? (upbeat techno music) Out of all the fun sci-fi weapons in the Men in Black-iverse, the Noisy Cricket might
be the most famous. Absurdly small and absurdly
powerful for its size, this tiny gun is known for
its crazy strong recoil. Now we know almost nothing
else about this weapon, aside from its recoil, but I think that if we can
put some numbers to its oomph, we can learn a lot more about it than some dudes in suits would tell us because no matter where the
Men in Black got this weapon, physics works the same
everywhere in the universe. (Kyle laughs) First, I can’t see anything. First, what is recoil? Well recoil is the term that we use for a weapon’s backwards momentum, its mass multiplied by its velocity and that backwards
momentum is a consequence of the conservation of momentum, a principle that states that in a closed system with
no energy going in or out, no matter if objects collide or not, the total momentum, before and after whatever
happens, is the same. Say for example, you were an MIB agent watching
a bug piloted UFO smash into the Old World’s Fair Unisphere. Your classic textbook example. If the UFO hits this sphere and then sticks to it and they both travel on together, you’d expect that this
whole mass would be moving at a slower velocity than the UFO was initially traveling at because the combined
mass is so much larger and indeed when we do calculations for different objects like this, this is exactly what we find. The arrows of momentum before and after are exactly the same. That’s conservation. The conservation of momentum
is at work everywhere. Say you had some kind of a rocket car with off-limit buttons. Another classic example. The backwards momentum, or recoil, this rocket car will get will be the mass of the
rocket exhaust multiplied by the velocity of that rocket exhaust. Now exhaust as gas is not very heavy, and so that’s why rockets
have to throw it back out of something at ridiculous speeds with basically controlled explosions. Whatever the Noisy Cricket is firing, it’s not going to be that heavy either because you can hold the
whole gun in your hand. And so this simple equation
can give us an idea of exactly how fast it has
to fire a projectile in order to move someone like Will Smith. And spoiler alert, it’s gonna be (rocket fires) way faster than that thing. Wow. Don’t touch the button. Don’t touch the button. To calculate the ridiculousness
that is the Noisy Cricket, we need to know a few variables first. Our equation is very simple, but we still need to know the mass of Agent Jay in the
first Men in Black film, we need to know the velocity
that he is thrown backwards at, and we need to estimate the mass of whatever the Noisy Cricket is firing. If we do that, we can solve for the velocity of that projectile and hopefully that value
will let us determine what the Noisy Cricket would actually do and what it would do, to you. Oh I did break it. (neuralyzer whirs and fires) Men in Black was right. If the Noisy Cricket really is so small, it would be downright scary. I felt like I said that. Did I say that already? If a weapon has a lot of recoil because of the conservation of momentum, that means that it’s either firing something relatively light
at an enormous velocity, like rockets do with fuel particles, or it is firing something much heavier at a relatively slower speed. As another example of the
interchangeability here, the Saturn V rocket, one of
the largest rockets ever, was thrown up out of Earth’s gravity well by throwing rocket exhaust downwards at a blistering two and a
half kilometers per second. Now you could get the same recoil, or momentum change by, and follow me here on this one, throwing a blue whale straight down at Mach 1.7 every two seconds. Whale. Whale. Whale. Whale. Ah. Beautiful. I’m bringing up blue whales and exhaust and rocket cars because I hope by now, you have a good idea that for a tiny gun to throw a grown man across a room, it simply must be firing something at an unheard of velocity. So let’s get technical. Looking to the Men in Black films and the prop replicas of the Noisy Cricket that fans have built over the years, the diameter of this barrel cannot be more than a few millimeters wide. Maybe three to four. So tiny. To fit inside the barrel then, whatever the Noisy Cricket is firing has to be less than this diameter, maybe one to two millimeters. Small. And if the projectile
is made out of some kind of earthly material, maybe a spherical shape, how about steel? Then the total mass ejected from the gun would be just four milligrams. Pew. Pew. Finally Will Smith is 82 kilograms and I think now you can see that for just four milligrams, to launch something that is over 20 million times more massive, the velocity on display here must be ridiculous. But just how ridiculous it has to be will depend very much on the amount of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air time (Kyle laughs) that Will gets. (neuralyzer whirs and fires)
Nope! Nope, you can’t make me forget it. I’ll never forget it! To complete our equation, we need Will Smith’s recoil
velocity and for that, we’re gonna do what we always do in movie velocity situations. We are gonna need the frames of the movie and the frames per second of that movie to get some time value, and then we’re gonna need
to look into the movie to get some known distance of something to get a distance value and from that, distance
over time, velocity. This clip from Men in Black one is playing at 30 frames per second and for Will Smith’s final toss from the Noisy Cricket in this scene, I counted a total of 23 frames. To me, it looks like he is
traveling and thrown backwards about half of a full car length. The average in America,
that we can look up and if we have these two values, then we can get an average velocity to plug into our conservation
of momentum equation. I’m leaving all these
variables in our equation here because you can mess around with how far you think Will Smith is actually traveling in that scene, what the projectile is made out of, and therefore, its actual mass, how many frames you count him moving for, but the slowest that I
calculate the projectile for the Noisy Cricket traveling is at over seven thousand
kilometers per second. The slowest. And at its fastest, it could be traveling at relativistic speeds. I’m talking like 60 thousand
kilometers per second, a hundred million miles per hour, 20% the speed of light. Not only is this faster than
anything ever fired on Earth, this is faster than our galaxy moves. What?! There is still the question of what firing the Noisy Cricket would actually do. Yeah! And what it would do to you. I’m an alien. Whoa! You were not supposed to see that. Speeds of thousands of
kilometers per second and above fall into the regime of hypervelocity. And we’ve actually tested
what hypervelocity impacts would do to stuff to
help protect the people who might actually meet aliens one day. By definition, anything
that is orbiting the Earth is going pretty dang fast
in order to stay in orbit and that also applies to
pieces of space debris and space junk like little flecks of paint or little pieces of metal. And those would be incredibly dangerous at orbital speeds if say, you were an astronaut up there. That is why NASA has actually built giant gas powered guns
to fire stuff at objects to see what they will do at hypervelocity. Here is an image of one
of those test impacts, firing a little piece of something at 17 thousand miles per hour. That looks pretty dangerous. Here is video footage of a test of a little metal sphere
hitting sand at Mach 100. Still looks really dangerous. If the Noisy Cricket is firing anything at thousands of times more than these test velocities, it’s not totally implausible to assume that when it did fire something, when it hit it, it would do a lot of (Noisy Cricket fires) of damage. Wow, that hurt. How much would it hurt though? If we forget about the
velocity for a second and just look at the
total momentum imparted to Will Smith when he is
thrown by the Noisy Cricket, we get a value that doesn’t
really mean very much unless you compare it to something else, so let’s compare it to something else. This is about the
momentum that a linebacker in the NFL running at full speed has. And we know that NFL
players, when they hit you, can throw you a decent distance
and absolutely rock you. So now imagine all this
momentum concentrated in just your wrists,
shoulders, and elbows. If you walk away from firing this thing with just a broken wrist, I think you would be (Noisy Cricket fires) lucky. Oh! I’ll never forget this pain. (neuralyzer whirs and fires) But despite the
relativistic firing speeds, despite the momentum, despite the broken bones
it would probably give you, I still don’t think the Noisy Cricket would ever actually throw you backwards. Like good physicists, when we started asking this question, we more or less assumed that Will Smith is a perfect Will Smith sphere and any force acting on that sphere would act equally and simultaneously, but of course, we know that humans are not perfect spheres to
be launched by something. What Hollywood has either ignored or forgotten for years, is that humans are what
we call squishy bendy and even immense recoil will
quickly dissipate itself in the bending of our bodies, our arms, and our limbs and a lot of it will just transfer into the ground. In fact, I’d wager there may
not be any movie situations where someone is firing an accurate weapon where they’d either knock (glass breaking) someone through a plate glass window or be thrown backwards themselves. The Noisy Cricket is extremely impressive and probably very dangerous but its depiction of recoil
is a little Men in Wack. (neuralyzer whirs and fires)
No! (Kyle laughs)
Nope. I’m gonna remember these puns forever! So why is the Men in Black’s Noisy Cricket so dang impressive? Well because of its
depiction in the movies, it just has to be firing
projectiles faster than any bullet on Earth, faster than any human made object, and faster than some galaxies move. The Noisy Cricket might not throw you through the air in real life, but it would definitely break stuff and probably break you. Because science. (Kyle groans in pain) (upbeat techno music) There is one small problem with whatever the Noisy Crickey
is firing and it’s that, if you’re firing something that fast, it’s gonna immediately
vaporize itself in the air. Even if it was a metal
sphere, a steel sphere, for example, firing at 100
million miles per hour, it would immediately vaporize itself and it would be more just like relativistic steel iron
ions flying through the air and would that do the
same amount of damage? How far would that plasma
of steel actually go? Probably not as far, probably
not do the same kinda damage but that’s where we can kinda
make the hand wavy part. Well it’s an alien material that’s resistant to Will Smith shots. Thank you so much for watching, Sammy. If you want more of me, or you want to suggest
ideas for future episodes, you can follow me and Because Science at these social media handles here and don’t forget our first expansion show, Because Space, expansion, it’s like the expansion of the, it has a number of episodes now live and you’re gonna wanna
check them with Doctor Moo, who is absolutely lovely
and very, very smart, and she’s just great. And if you like it too, let
us know in the comments. Thanks.

100 thoughts on “Men in Black’s Noisy Cricket is CRAZY

  1. Thanks for watching Super Nerds! For all the corrections about the kind of projectile the NC is firing, I'll see you in Footnotes. Also, the blue whale engine is now the Hill Engine (TM). — kH

  2. What if the projectile was producted out of air and it was a liquid which turned into plasma then you can shoot more mass through the tiny pipe (like 10grams) then the velocity would be as high but have the same effect on the person.

  3. Wouldn't the noisy cricket itself be flung back at thousands of miles per hour as it is what is acted on, not you? It probably weighs a few ounces, so I wager it would tear off your hand and puncture a hole through your body depending on your orientation when firing.

    Edit: If it weighs 50g and the bullet leaves at 7,300,000m/s, the gun will fly out of your hand at about 600m/s, almost Mach two. I think broken bones would be the least of your problems.

  4. NEWSFLASH : BECAUSE SCIENCE FAILS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Noisy Cricket = Sound wave weapon. What? The name didn't clue you in? You have great potential young one. But you need training.
    You probably still believein mainstream religion of bumping particles, the duality of light , space-time, dark matter , LMWAO !!
    Don't worry. I'll learn ya.

  5. Couldn't you calculate the cricket's projectile velocity based on the time between the weapon firing and the impacts on the trucks?

  6. You skepticals…if you were in 1930 you’d be making a video (or a play) abput how ridiculous it would be to get a bomb explosion the size of hiroshima…something like “it would take a pile of dynamite the size of yadayada which weighs sooo much and fit it in 1 bomb in 1 plane. Never know what ya don’t know is what I’m sayin

  7. Given that the MIB uses tech studied and stolen from alien tech; it is possible that the Noisy Cricket is shooting "Compressed Matter". Matter which when leaving the barrel would expand so quickly and shaped in such a way that the recoil is caused simply by the speed the matter expands in.

  8. Is it possible that this technology somehow allows the recoil to be universally transmitted to the entire surface area of the one firing? Would that not reduce the damage to the user?

  9. I know this is a little late (and maybe someone has already asked, or I'm just thinking in fantasy) but…, what if the projectile it's firing is solidified light? Is there even such thing in theory or hypothesis?

  10. I hope one day humanity is advanced enough to discover an alien material powerful enough to resist Will Smith.

  11. That was clearly a "whale" of an episode – but you knew this was coming 😉
    …unless someone flashy-thing'd you o.o

  12. The laws of physics apply everywhere within the KNOWN universe. Anything beyond that is just theorising. Of course, this doesn't excuse MiB seeing as one of their "aliens" was said to hail from one of Jupiter's moons and not only is that within the "known" universe, it is within our own solar system.

  13. This bothers me. So we got the recoil of the Cricket, but what about the species that would use this? Considering its size the species would likely be smaller than a human. But the recoil would be dangerous for them and in a gun fight you wouldn't want to he throwing yourself back like that. So the weapon needs enough force to both harm to species it's being used by and shouldn't cause recoil. So what could we discern from the environment that the weapon comes from and the species? Well, we know that if humans evolved on a planet with more gravity that we would be shorter since our vascular system needs to fight against gravity, so being shorter in an environment like that would be advantageous. There is also the possibility that the species is denser than us but this might be problematic for a species like that in other ways.

    I might be wrong on all of this, but I would really like to see what could be found out about the species that wielded that weapon based on its performance.

  14. What if the Noisy Cricket is not a projectile weapon but instead an energy weapon and it isn't recoil that is throwing him backwards but instead the shock/pressure wave from the release of such a tremendous amount of energy?

  15. I just happened to think about this theory, albeit it's very short and simple, and is composed of a few questions.
    What if the projectile was designed to explode on contact with its target? It's alien technology, so isn't that possible? How much energy would have to be contained inside of the projectile in order to blow up the truck?

  16. If the American education system wasn't fucking retarded, I'd know what he's talking about (kg/s, m/s, etc…) but no, I'm staring at my feet expecting to see a wooden stick with numbers on it, America is lame.

  17. It's obviously meant for an huge alien species with tiny hands. There is a gravitational recoil dissipator that spreads the recoil across the whole body. Against the original species, it makes it nice, but against humans, it just throws them. Also, it's probably shooting nutrinos from a dimension where it started reacting to matter… or something. 🙂

  18. I think of a secondary explosion, which makes the whole story less crazy.

    The bullet turns immediately into a super speedy rocket upon collision. Still a crazy idea though.

  19. I think all kids in school should just watch this channel instead of boring science lectures. I have learned more in 20 videos than 2 years of physics.

  20. Ah Kyle… The noisy cricket fires sound. It actually moves the air directly in front of itself so fast, that the resulting pressure wave launches Agent J backwards.

  21. 6:24 If they cannot "use their weapons in public!"
    Why don't they carry normal weapons ??
    People would confuse them with FBI or something, then use their fancy weapons later.

  22. thing is if the cricket sprayed a super accelerated gas or spray of particles it could basically turn the atmosphere in front of it into a plasma like meteor trails do. in the movie it seems to have the physical effect of punching a giant scorched hole in anything you fire at with very little precision so it could be some sort of alien tech nano-scattergun that fires a spray of near lightspeed atoms in a tight cone to just disintegrate materials rather than a single projectile.
    this would also have the effect of making the air in front of it effectively explode with the projectile's energy dissipating and consequently blow a full sized will smith throught the air backwards

  23. I mean the most likely outcome of firing the noisy cricket in my mind is you fire and it just rips free of your grip and slams into your face or chest with all that force focused on the tiny area of it that would actually make contact, killing the everloving shit outta you.

  24. At the very end he says "Thank you for watching, Sammy." It really threw me for a loop, had this going on in the background.

  25. Wouldn't it be more accurate to assume that it does have the power to throw a grown man, since we see the weapon do it? So it would be more accurate, and terrifying, to see how much force it takes to overcome our "squishy bendy" nature, and throw someone back. Just curious.

  26. One of the hypotheses regarding exactly what the Noisy Cricket fires, stating tgat it's pure kinetic energy. It would certainly explain some things, but the logistics…are insane.

  27. The bullet is made out of unobtainium from the move The Core. As we know from that movie the higher the pressure and heat the stronger it gets. So it stays at its shape and form due to its chemical make up. :p

  28. Or perhaps it's just a super-dense particle, or group of particles, that even when it hits a plasma-based state of matter through velocity it is still like getting hit with a shotgun. IIRC the game EVE Online has 'hybrid blasters' that work with the same principle.

  29. There was at least one MIB tie-in novel that said you could hold the Noisy Cricket out to one side and fire it without suffering by the recoil — implying that the recoil isn't being delivered through the physical structure of the gun itself but instead projected out behind it — but I have no idea how canon that is.

  30. You’re assuming it’s firing a solid earthlings know about, for all we know it could be alien fart gas or even plasma.

  31. Hy Kyle, cheers from Argentina, it's late I know, but as you said the vaporization of the proyectile will create a heat wave that could push J back like we saw, but maybe there is another proyectile, if you manege to get some antimatter inside the weapon and you isolate until the end of the barrel and put a regular matter proyectile before it, it will anhile in contact with air therefore creating an explotion that will push J back and also propelling the proyectile towards, I guess they can hold antimatter with their tech, that way maybe you don't need that much velocity, hope you can read it 😉

  32. I always thought the Noisy Cricket shot focused sound waves. I know that that's kinda unrealistic, but it fits the name.

  33. Mmm… could throw you back words with the sound waves that it generates? I mean, to fire something like that at that ridicolous speed there has to be something waaaay more powerful than gunpowder… And that explosion could make those sound waves

  34. Sorry for the late comment, but if you take into account pressure of such a tiny item… wouldn't the noisy cricket's handle slice its way through Will Smith's hand if it weren't immediately thrown from his grasp?

  35. Perhaps the ammo could be ionized particles at a high frequency. A bit of neutron star encaged within that tiny weapon.

  36. I'm sorry I don't mean to nitpick, but doesn't the noisy cricket fire something along the lines of plasma or a plasma like substance? I mean, watching the movie, the moment it fires, the projectile shown is definitely not something from earth. I think the reason "That's Hot!" Gets flown so far back is because this plasma is so tightly packed, it's density is increased drastically when the gun is fired. But if this is the case, the noisy cricket would have to be charged up before firing. Which I believe it does when you turn it on, noting the noise it makes when Smithy takes it out

  37. I always theorized that that "noisy cricket" was originally a vehicle-mounted weapon for really small aliens (Arquillian, perhaps), refurbished into a handgun.

  38. Could it maybe fire some sort of energy that releases wave that makes Will get pushed back. Because it definitely fires a type of energy

  39. U focused on “if the noisy cricket fried a projectile” but what if the noisy cricket friend a force like a “gravitational force” for example

  40. I call bs… the recoil of shotguns and some larger caliber rifles can throw people. I'm not saying you'll get thrown like agent j(will smith) from firing the cricket but you can get thrown to the ground if you're not standing properly or braced against something. There are videos of people laying prone firing 50cal, 20mm and 30mm rifles getting pushed back anywhere from a couple inches to a few feet… so you saying that there isn't a gun that can throw the user(s) back is complete bs…

  41. I believe that it could be just that, however the projectile would as he said vaporize upon leaving the barrel UNLESS if the projectile has a weight density equal to the force needed to throw agent j. But for this to be true firing from such a small barrel it would to consist of a mass equal to agent j's weight(47kg). To help you understand what I'm saying when a star/planet collapses in on itself it often creates a gravity-well or black hole at which point the entire mass of the star is then pulled into a singularity hundreds of thousands times smaller than it's original size, you now have something that's really small and yet weighs as much as a planet.

    If that's to hard for you to understand here is a layman's perspective.
    You have trash can filled with empty uncrushed soda cans roughly 5 pounds worth that takes up a lot of space. so you crush all the cans condensing the amount to a fraction of the space in the can, you now have 5 pounds of stuff in a relatively small space. You have the same amount of mass(5lbs of cans) just made a lots smaller. Now back to the cricket.

    The gun is firing a projectile the size of a pencil point(0.25grams estimate) but weighs as much a a grown man(47kg), that's a lot of weight in a small package and for it to move as fast as it does it would break the sound barrier and the force of the boom created when that happens could throw someone.

    Why? Because Science?? No because I over think everything until it makes sense.

  42. The Noisy Cricket literally blasted a flaming hole through a box truck or semi trailer, and cut the arm/pulley on a tow truck. An iron-based plasma is entirely possible for what it creates.

  43. It would never be a circle, there is a reason we don't a shoot musket balls anymore! Shapes change when you break the sound barrier, the shape tends to need to be more front heavy to keep it from tumbling, at those speeds tho…..who knows.

  44. My private theory is that the noisy cricket is a weapon that creates a tiny packet of superhot plasma (a few fractions of a gram) and accelerates it to near relativistic velocities

  45. You said throwing a blue whale what about a sperm whale that was suddenly and against all probability called into existence

  46. What's this about? I seem to have lost track around 3:23. Must be something with the planet Venus. Always is with these things.

  47. Well you assume it fires a projectile of some sort… it apears more like a sonic type of weapon that release some sort of compreset sonic burst ,the math are kinda the same but the recoil coud be stronger because of the wawe coming out (like a super strong yet super smal loudspeaker) as well in that case the size of the gun muzzle may be inconsequential .As the entire thing or the whole barrel may be the nuzzle.

  48. I wanna point out the obvious fact that is MIB operates by the laws of physics, that Because Science should therefore explain The Galaxy, the MIB world being in an alien locker, and Griff. Good luck!

    And I must concur the notion that the cricket is firing some kind of energy or intensely-powerful energized particle, because sci-fi.

    Oh, additionally: The recoil… You COULD have your arm impact your ribs and throw you back.

  49. A small projectile travelling at high speeds will most probably just pierce right throgh the van but it won't launch it.

  50. Clay Matthews is not a football player… He, my friend, is a candy ass! (8:59). Now if you want to feel pain, bring in the Mack truck (Khalil Mack that is!)

  51. Wouldn't there be a good chance it'd just ruin the user in other ways? Like all that force over a small, squishy area like the muscle in his hand would explode his hand like a tomato, push through the bone in his trigger finger, then lodge the cricket somewhere in his head? Also, it'd create a deafening if not deadly sound from the shooting an object that fast. And he'd need more than ray bans and more like a welding helmet and gloves to protect his hands and eyes from the plasma throwing off at least UV light. And the area in front of him would be superheated so it might even just burn him with heat, remove all the oxygen from the surrounding area, or cause the air to turn into various harmful chemicals like nitric oxide, nitric acid, etc.

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