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  • Did you know that a 10 meter platform diver covers the last seven meters they fall in

  • less time than the first three? Actually, this also applies to a falling rockbut

  • rocks aren't nearly as good looking. Anyway, by the time a diver (or rock) has fallen three

  • meters, they're already going about 17mph, and as they fall farther, they continue to

  • pick up speed so that they cover the remaining distance in less time.

  • But now suppose a world record sprinter races our olympic diver - that is, Usain Bolt starts

  • ten meters from the finish line, and the diver starts ten meters above it. Who gets there

  • first?

  • Well, Bolt's actual running time through the first 10 meters of his world record was 1.74

  • seconds, while a rock falling 10 meters takes only 1.43 secondsso victory to the rock

  • by a slim margin. But of course, an olympic diver is NOT a rock, and in particular they'll

  • jump upwards off the platform - this means they'll be in the air for an additional third

  • of a second, or a total of about 1.78 seconds before they hit the water. So it's actually

  • a close race, and Bolt wins the photo finish!

  • However, while we continue to be amazed by how fast Usain Bolt is, the fact that he could

  • beat a diver in free fall is more of a reminder that gravity, while a law of nature and thus

  • consistent, doesn't give you a blazing start. That's why it's easiest to catch something

  • in the first instant after you drop it. If you wait even a second, it'll be 15 feet down

  • and already traveling 20 miles per hour. Bye bye!

Did you know that a 10 meter platform diver covers the last seven meters they fall in

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B1 diver bolt world record olympic fall platform

Usain Bolt vs. Gravity

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    Why Why posted on 2013/03/31
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