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. I used to think he was just really good at writing backward but then I realized they just mirrored the video horizontally after recording, that's why he appears left-handed…

    unless he is

  3. I always thought that the cricket was a sound based weapon, which would explain why he was thrown back. the blast would be a sound wave rather than the recoil of the gun.

  4. what if the gun fires an antimatter particle in an confinement beam would it do the same damage to the truck?

  5. And then again, to assume the NC fires ordinary projectiles instead of causing an exotic physical phenomenon, is, given that your science just told you that a NC firing a projectile is impractical at best, suicide at worst, a little shortsighted, and not as fun as trying to imagine what could cause the effect.

    Higgs streams? Space-time fluctuations? Your guess is probably better than mine.

  6. I always figured that that needle at the end was more of a tethering mechanism for the energy that is fired from its base. A lot of sci-fi energy weapons have this same aesthetic where it's a "laser" weapon but it has a needle where the muzzle would be.

  7. Is there anyone working on a rocket system that adds Mass to something as it is being projected? Like it's throws ions at a hydrogen atom that then makes it turn into another element to provide more Mass than the stored material. Is that even theoretically possible?

  8. What if the noisy cricket doest actually hold any ammunition? It is a device that instantaneously accumulates atoms from the surrounding environment and fires them forward. It couldnt be fired in a true vacuum but could this process account for a greater mass projectile and therefore allow for a slower velocity? Also create a void-field around the firer allowing them to be thrown with less energy?

  9. A proposal: The Noisy Cricket is an energy weapon, and the firer of said weapon is thrown back by the displacement of air as it expands from the heat of the energy discharge.

  10. if you stuff the Blue Whales with explosives before launching them out the back of the rocket, you can then use the explosion to further push the rocket forward. This is called an Orion Drive and it's really efficient, but it also tends to scatter things you don't want (like whale guts) everywhere.

  11. Soooo what if it is a sonic weapon that doesn't actually fire a physical projectile? Hence the name "noisy cricket"?

  12. What if the gun itself is not what pushed him back? What if it was just the "bullet"? Think of it as a rocket launcher. The projectile from the cricket might shoot out at a somewhat slow rate and then accelerate to insane speeds after it is several feet away. Maybe using some kind of exotic anti matter or other compact propellant/explosive. Thus, what is actually knocking him back isn't recoil but a kind of backblast wave.

  13. This is just my simple theory. Using newtonian depth approximation, with the density of steel, I think the steel plasma could go for roughly 6.4m, but that's only using depth approximation. I really have no idea

  14. Sorry dude but Wiki has got it answered before you did. (A Noisy Cricket is a small pistol-like weapon with a small grip and pointed barrel. It fires a powerful orb of energy, creating the sound of a cricket. It produces a strong recoil that can upend an unsuspecting user. It can also be suppressed to reduce the recoil, but this reduces its power.) Theirs no solid projectile of anything that's being fired, only energy. Your science cannot break movie magic and science fiction, this time round.

  15. Okay, BUT… what if we assume it's firing some sort of energy discharge? How much energy is that? Assuming everything else is the video stays the same we're discharging a relativistic mass conversion of 0.002 grams . So: E=MC^2 so…. E=0.002*299792000^2=179750486528000J which is, like, 43 kilotons or coming on for 3 Hiroshima bombs. Which is probably too much for a side arm. Definitely not appropriate for home defence.

  16. i wounder if you fired a extreme recoil gun while prone with the gun tucked tight to your shoulder. would it just tear off your arm or would you be physically moved backward? because your body wouldent really "bend" out of the way like your arm/ hand does when you fire a traditional firearm. 🤔

  17. What if it were firing a ray of sonic energy? Or something easy to imagine? Would it create alot of damage with that? I.e. something non material?

  18. It can’t have more force on your arm than a knight with a lance on horseback can it? The speed is crazy but the force on your arm doesn’t really care that much.

  19. This is almost painfully ignorant as well as close to the Truth. The Noisy Cricket fires (at comparatively low velocity) super-compressed blue whales. Please correct your calculations.

  20. what about the time they did a nuclear bomb test underground and put a manhole cover over the only hole making the earth a nuclear cannon? look https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSeL5c65v-g

  21. i always wandered if the gravitational beam emitter from 'BLAME!' is actually possible to create. a weapon that vaporize everithing in the range of milions of kilometers at max power all in a gun big as a desert eagle o

  22. 1:55 But when it smashes into the large non moving object ; wouldn't it lose some energy overcoming the struck objects inertia ?

  23. guns are not gas powered. they use a cylinder compressing a light gas medium to accelerate the projectile with – but often the piston in that cylinder is driven by just plain old gunpowder.

  24. If it were firing a projectile, and it were a steel ball, then would that explain the hole that it put in the side of that truck? My mind through the whole video was thinking that it would become an ionized gas after instantly burning up and that gas would expand and create that massive net of high speed gas that shot through everything we saw, making it short range but deadly and hard to miss with, a decent weapon for a new agent

  25. actually you are wrong bud. people get moved back by guns ALL the time. im about 130lbs and a 10Gauge shotgun fireing a slug has knocked me back about a yard. it didnt BLOW me back but it definitely pushed me back.

  26. Kyle, you made me cry a little in happiness.

    When I first started watching your videos (pretty close to when you started them), I never watched all the way to the end. Now I do, and I am so happy that I do. When you thanked a random name in this video, you picked my name. I'm mtf trans, and Sammy is the name I picked (haven't fully come out yet), so when you said it, I got good chills and teared up a little. Thank you so much for that, it really means a lot.

    On a related note, could you start using more neutral and varied pronouns and such in some of your examples? I think it would bring a little bit of happiness to a lot of people like me.

  27. Need a back story of the noisy cricket. Where when how did MIB get it. Why is is small. What alien creature use to use it. How small was the creature..all that.

  28. I don't know about anyone else, but I think Youtube is bugged. I started watching this video and it just began around the 10 minute mark. Anyone else? =/

  29. It comes with a built in motion damping system that pushes back evenly over the shooters whole body.

    Is that the same whale that was in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?

  30. Instead of a projectile what I'd its sound wave based. And the recoil you see is actually the wave reflecting off the item it hits and returning to the person firing the cricket. It would be more in line with the name of the weapon if its sonic then physical ammo. If sound isn't enough you can use air pressure as part of the recol. Air can have a physical effect on objects so it might feel like being hit with a air wave from a jet engine.

  31. I'm more interested in what kind of propulsive material they are using to propel something at those speeds. Does a material exist that can do so?

  32. Aqua man CAN drown, and if you put him in a swimming pool, the chlorine will shock him and he will die and float belly up in the water and then you have to flush him down the toilet.

  33. What if the noisy cricket is a plasma or energy only weapon and the kickback is a pressure wave originating at the "barrel" as the projectile displaces air ? The impact on the user would be full body and much less harmful, but of course there would be other localized affects as well such as the displacement of loose objects.

  34. Pretty sure it fires coherent energy rather than a physical projectile, but I suppose it could be some exotic material that bristles with barely contained energy that makes it glow and if not actually be then to appear larger than the weapon itself after leaving the barrel.

  35. Its alien tech right? Why couldn't it have some mini version of whatever theoretically powers and propels their craft in order to allow it to fire something insanely dense, like neutronium? I really wonder if even something as mind bendingly complicated as that would produce these kinds of recoil and also what kind of power levels that would involve. Also, even if any of that were possible, I don't understand how it would throw you back like in the movie instead of ripping your hand off and shoving it and the gone through your chest. Forget being able to aim something like that, but I guess the impact through your chest might throw you back, but you definitely wouldn't be walking away from it.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

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

  40. 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

  41. 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.

  42. 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?

  43. 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?

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

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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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?

  49. 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?

  50. 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.

  51. 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. 🙂

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

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