The Physics Behind The Perfect Dive04:33

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Published on January 9, 2018

How do divers squeeze 4.5 flips into 1.5 seconds? Here’s how physics plays a big role in readying the world’s best divers for Rio.

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Olympic Physics: Diving And The Moment Of Inertia

“Diving is among the most popular spectator events in the Olympics, a graceful sport that combines elements of gymnastics and dancing. It’s also an excellent example of physics in action.
Let’s look at the 10 meter diving event, in which divers leap from a platform 10 meters above the water.”

A ‘Rip’ Dive Brings Points And Pain

“‘You hit the water at about 32 miles per hour off the tower,” said Dick Kimball, co-coach of the United States Olympic diving team, referring to the 10-meter tower from which the platform competitors dive. ‘Hit the water wrong, and you can compress a few vertebrae.’
Even worse, a diver who hits the water exactly right – by current judging standards – is likely to twist, tear or otherwise injure a wrist or shoulder.”

Biomechanics Of The Perfect Olympic Dive

“Science informing sports: A USC biomechanicist helps analyze the force, rotation and performance of elite divers.”


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