There are many ways to survive a duel. First, don’t enter into a duel. You aren’t an 18th-century French aristocrat. Send your second person to be shot for you. Three: Let the second person point their gun at you and fire at you.

Although not the most appealing option, let’s discuss option three.

While watching Western movies, Niels Henrik Bohr, a physicist, noticed that the hero drew his gun first, but the villain always got it. He suggested that this was not a dramatic trick to make the good guys look more righteous. It could be because our initiated movements are slower than our reactions. Perversely, he believed that the person who reacts to an opponent raising their gun might have the advantage of being able to fire before their opponent.

Bohr, after taking a break from particle Physics, took his friends to the outdoors the next day to test the theory. Bohr took the prudent step of using toy caps guns, despite the fact that it was a very ominous sentence to hear: “Hey Gary! I have a theory about who dies in duels first and I want to invite you outside.”

Bohr was second in every instance, according to an anecdote. He pointed and shot at his opponent before they could do the same to him, winning every time.

Bohr was the reactor in every case. It doesn’t take any professor of major sciences to see that Bohr could be the variable. Maybe he was simply a great at killing but ended up in Physics. Bohr wasn’t conducting any serious experiments, and there is no evidence or paper that he did.

Other scientists, however, have investigated the phenomenon to determine if it has any explanations.

“We wanted evidence that these reactive movements are quicker than the equivalent proactive ones,” Dr Andrew Welchman (a BBSRC Fellow at the University of Birmingham), who conducted the research, stated in a statement. This statement was made from 2010.

“So, we created a competition between two people. They were asked to press a row more quickly than their opponent. They didn’t have to wait for the ‘go’ signal, so they could only move if they wanted to or react to their opponent. This was just like the Gunslingers legend.

On average, participants who responded to the opponent’s movements rather than initiating them gained a 21 millisecond advantage in movement speed. Although they thought this gave the reactor an advantage, the team discovered that the accuracy of pressing the right buttons decreased. Their conclusion? These reactions are useful, but they won’t stop anyone from getting shot.

Welchman stated that having a system in our brains that provides quick and dirty responses to the environment is a good strategy for survival.

Although 21 milliseconds might seem small, it could make a difference in your life if you’re trying to avoid an approaching bus.

Bohr found the opposite.

“He was probably just very good at shooting.”