Institute of Forensic Medicine

Research

Forensic Physics and Ballistics

The Center for Forensic Physics and Ballistics in Bern investigates the violent mechanical actions exerted on the human body from a physical perspective. The main focus of the investigative work is on blunt forces and processes involving wound ballistics.

Ballistics research is also performed with a view to gathering data intended to shed light on criminal cases. Research is carried out in collaboration with other departments at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Bern, as well as with forensic science services.

The Center for Forensic Physics and Ballistics has various measuring systems for investigating highly dynamic phenomena. The ballistics laboratory at the Intercantonal Police School at Hitzkirch also has facilities for shooting at various materials and simulants.

Research into blunt forces is mainly concerned with the potential for injury associated with objects thrown or used to strike someone. This covers two aspects: First, the energy and forces a person can generate during the acts of throwing and striking are of great interest when addressing questions in court. Second, it is necessary to establish threshold values for physical variables that may lead to injuries to the human body.