Thursday, 5 July 2012

Fastest Swimmers Make Webbed Hands Out of Water


When watching the Summer Olympics, take a good look at the hands of the competitive swimmers. Chances are, their fingers will be slightly spread. Now new research finds that this hand position creates an "invisible web" of water that gives swimmers more speed.

"It is a counterintuitive idea, the fact that you should paddle with a fork, not with an oar," said study researcher Adrian Bejan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University.

In fact, Bejan and his colleagues found that interactions between the hand and the water when the fingers are slightly spread increase the total force a swimmer can exert, translating to faster times in the pool.

1 comment:

  1. The research article on which this story is based is available at

    www.constructal.org

    See: "The Constructal-Law physics of why swimmers must spread their fingers and toes"

    ReplyDelete

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis