AUG 16, 2016 6:34 AM PDT

High Dives and Physics


It's Olympic season and that means high dives in Rio. Whether it's one athlete, or two in tandem, the physics of these 10 meter plunges are key scoring the gold and not getting hurt in the process. Lower dives at 3 meters go off a spring board, but the 10 meter board is solid concrete. Forward velocity is necessary for the diver to clear the platform. Height is also crucial, since it allows more time for twists and moves.

Once airborne, on the way to the water's surface, it's all about two positions, tuck and pike. Each affects the diver's rotation. Proper control of rotation will increase their speed but decrease the moment of inertia and it's this very precise ratio that allows them to do such complex and high scoring moves in a very short time. In a tuck dive they have less control over rotation, and less moves on the way down, but it's a higher scoring dive because it's more difficult.

Finally, it's all about the splash. Divers are judged on how little splash they create on entering the water. After a bunch of flips, the diver has to straighten out to achieve this low splash entry and there's not much time, plus it's working against the physics of rotation. Divers at the Olympic level have to judge their speed, rotation, distance from the surface and how many twists and flips they must do in under ten seconds, while traveling at more than 30 mph on impact. It's a lot of math and physics in addition to superior athletic ability.
About the Author
English
I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Can a Chemical Be Both Nurturing and Destructive?
NOV 12, 2020
Can a Chemical Be Both Nurturing and Destructive?
On August 4, a megascale explosion almost leveled half of Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. At the center of the negl ...
JAN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
JAN 08, 2021
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
The existence of dark matter has been considered a 'given' for decades as a way to understand some of the less e ...
FEB 10, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Do Salt and Melting Ice Cause Landslides on Mars?
FEB 10, 2021
Do Salt and Melting Ice Cause Landslides on Mars?
Recurrent slope lineae (RSL) are dark flows that extend downhill on Mars to form sandy patterns on its surface. Research ...
MAY 02, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Average Day on Venus Lasts 243 Earth Days
MAY 02, 2021
Average Day on Venus Lasts 243 Earth Days
Although Venus is our planet’s closest neighbour, its fundamental properties have remained largely unknown. Now th ...
MAY 15, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Find Liquid Water Inside Meteorite
MAY 15, 2021
Scientists Find Liquid Water Inside Meteorite
Scientists know that water is abundant in the solar system- existing in the rings of Saturn and on its moon, Enceladus. ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
MAY 29, 2021
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
Researchers have that there was four times more soot in the pre-industrial Southern Hemisphere's atmosphere than pre ...
Loading Comments...