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The Physics of the World's Fastest Man

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,5 days | from the robotic-legs dept.

Science 137

cylonlover writes "The Honourable Usain Bolt (Order of Jamaica; Commander of the Order of Distinction) is often held out as the world's fastest man. The reigning Olympic champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints as well as a member of the Olympic champion 4x100 meter relay team, Bolt is the first man to win six Olympic gold medals in sprinting, and is a five-time world champion. Long and lanky at 6 ft 5 in (2 m) tall, he towers above the (mostly) much shorter sprinters. How has he managed to come out on top for the past five years? A team of physicists from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) has analyzed Bolt's past performances in the 100-meter sprint to understand what makes a record-breaker."

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worlds fastest women mad at him? (5, Funny)

peter303 (12292) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393227)

Nothing makes you run faster than fleeing.

Re:worlds fastest women mad at him? (2)

arth1 (260657) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393625)

Except, of course, vehicles
To my knowledge, Andy Green [wikipedia.org] is still the fastest man on Earth, and Stafford, Young and Cernan [wikipedia.org] the fastest overall.

Re:worlds fastest women mad at him? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393713)

Don't be such a reggin.

Knee shrink, knee grow.

Drugs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393253)

Lots and lots of drugs.

Re:Drugs. (1, Flamebait)

umghhh (965931) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394675)

why is it modded -1 - I mean that is true is it not? If somebody believes that top athletes of today do not use any drugs to get there s/he is naive. For some time I believed that the like chess and table tennis would be immune but now I do not and you know what - I do not care. It is just entertainment and if they want to take drugs so be it. I am just sorry for those few sportsmen that actually did not know they consume stuff that is no good. Only to tell which ones are those is difficult if at all possible. Still I guess there are some.

So bottom line is: yes it matters how you run - technique and 'talent' (whatever that is in particular case) but without drugs no success.

What? (0)

timbudtwo (782174) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393279)

Conclusion from TFA: "Despite the analysis, none of this explains why Usain Bolt dominates the shorter track events so thoroughly."

Complete filler news. We found absolutely nothing!

eugenics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393297)

and genetic engineering

The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

Viol8 (599362) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393321)

Why? Because sprinters - and all pro runners - wear running shoes and they make running somewhat more efficient than running barefoot. I'd wager money on very few if any sprinters being able to do 100m in under 10 sec if running barefoot.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393397)

False. The rules are to wear shoes, like no longer allowing standing starts. A sprinter could were rubber style gloves if they were stong enough, but they are banned.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (5, Informative)

Shetan (20885) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393597)

IAAF Competition Rules, Rule 143

Shoes
2. Athletes may compete barefoot or with footwear on one or both feet.
The purpose of shoes for competition is to give protection and
stability to the feet and a firm grip on the ground. Such shoes,
however, must not be constructed so as to give an athlete any unfair
additional assistance, including by the incorporation of any
technology which will give the wearer any unfair advantage. A shoe
strap over the instep is permitted. All types of competition shoes must
be approved by IAAF.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394127)

All types of competition shoes must
be approved by IAAF.

IAAF? I Am A Farmer? What makes farmers qualified to approve sprinting shoes?

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44395089)

He'll be here all week, folks!

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395865)

Yeah because he is a slow runner.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393447)

Seems rather counterintuitive to state that, as kinetic energy is surely being converted to heat as shoe cushioning absorbs impact. Would be nice to see some research that backs your claim of greater "efficiency" through shod running vs. barefoot (says the AC who didn't bring any evidence to back his own claim).

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393523)

As one AC to another (about a third), I would armchair-hypothesize that the rubber surface of a shoe has such a higher frictional coefficient than human flesh that such minor kinetic energy loss is irrelevant.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395889)

As well there is some limit to the pain/strain that you can take. If you can expand the duration of the push just enough to make it not painful but not so much that it changes your pace/balance too much you might be better off. Muscle has a static and dynamic strength. It would all be a matter of what point in your stride you make contact and how far forward you fall before your flesh/shoes catch you enough to push you up off the bottom.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393785)

The shoe doesn't create the impact!! How would it make you faster to absorb it in your joints than in shoe padding? Ignoring the fact that track shoes are designed and optimised for this exact purpose how would they possibly slow you down? Gah! mount stupid indeed.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1, Interesting)

jkflying (2190798) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394905)

No, most of the energy is stored in the rubber so as the foot leaves the ground it gives a push. Using rubber makes you faster.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395909)

And where does that push come from? From it slowing you down on the down stroke. You'll never get all that energy back. It is more of a matter of the timing I think not the energy it gives you but that it gives it to you when you are trying to move against gravity and takes it away when you are moving with gravity. It levels the max effort a bit across the whole stride.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44395235)

There's quite a bit of research into this sort of thing if you want to go digging, but generally folks running barefoot [1] tend to put their foot down more softly than those who have some sort of cushioning sole. You can test this for yourself.

Track shoes are a very thin, very slight cushion. This allows the runner to move at peak efficiency (hence more speed).

[1] Yes, barefoot or "minimalist" running is generally more injury free than running in more cushioned shoes, and if you're not a world class athlete it's probably a better way to run. Note I said *better*, not "faster" or "more efficient". By "better" I mean healthier for the rest of your life. Less damage to all things concerned. If you can run fast enough to be competitive with The Bolt, then you do what it takes to make enough money to pay for the rehab.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393531)

Why? Because sprinters - and all pro runners - wear running shoes and they make running somewhat more efficient than running barefoot. I'd wager money on very few if any sprinters being able to do 100m in under 10 sec if running barefoot.

More likely because of the spikes on track shoes that give runners a lot more traction, which is especially useful when accelerating at the start.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (3, Informative)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393587)

More likely because of the spikes on track shoes that give runners a lot more traction, which is especially useful when accelerating at the start.

And in high school while running track, I found out the hard way that spikes are also great at increasing your deceleration.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394139)

Are any of these races even run on the old cinder-type tracks where spikes would be allowed and make a difference? All the tracks look like the modern all-weather types to me - no spikes needed.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394205)

Never mind. Apparently spikes are still worn. Interesting.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (3, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393657)

Right. And a speed skater is more efficient than someone who is sliding on bare feet. The bow makes the archer much more skilled then just trying to throw the arrow with their bare hands. And don't even get me started about the new Trampoline sport...I think they should have to do all those moves with just jumping with their legs.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (0)

Viol8 (599362) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393697)

Running tends to get pushed as an example of pure unaided human physical performance - which it isn't. The sports you mentioned are not.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

dimeglio (456244) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394315)

Running tends to get pushed as an example of pure unaided human physical performance

I never heard of it as such but it is rather evident, with swimming being even purer.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (1)

snadrus (930168) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394855)

Far from it. Because of the suit improvements, in the last Olympics we saw 3rd-place ahead of the previous record line. And that was in a number of the races. There were support teams for some people helping them stretch. Their meals are carefully made for them while they train. What's unaided?

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (2)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393717)

And don't even get me started about the new Trampoline sport...

What, have they finally gotten around to building courts for playing Kosho? [youtube.com]

Be seeing you.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393667)

Not necessarily so. Primate's feet fingers are evolutionary left overs from tree dwelling and are currently not of a very efficient design for running, walking or even branch grabbing. Compared to cat's paws they lack the retractable claws for grip and compared to hooves they lack absorption and protection.

Overall, humans have been emphasizing upright walking and thinking for a very long time so our muscular and skeletal design are just not that good. So It's very possible shoes, despite added weight, would actually improve power output with to no extra energy cost.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (5, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393843)

feet fingers

We call those toes. Well, my family does, at least.

Re:The true max human 100m time is probably higher (2)

edxwelch (600979) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394439)

I call fingers "hand toes". People think I'm wierd.

Re: The true max human 100m time is probably highe (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394845)

I know a guy who lost his toes in an accided. He walks with a zimmer frame, ergo toes are more important than you think for balance

Definition of "World's Fastest Man"? (1, Informative)

catchblue22 (1004569) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394087)

I have a problem with the vagueness of the term "world's fastest man". If the criteria is for a person to reach the maximum speed without the aid of external forces like engine forces or gravity, then I think that Sam Whittingham [wikipedia.org] is the world's fastest man. He rode a recumbant bike 133kph (83mph) [youtube.com] over level ground without motor pacing. His bicycle was enclosed by an aerodynamic shell designed by a European sculptor (I can't find his name but he is not an engineer). The record has also been contested by more prestigious university engineering teams but Sam's record still stands. His training runs sometimes took place on Vancouver Island freeways, and it was not uncommon for him to pass cars on the freeway.

Re:Definition of "World's Fastest Man"? (2)

dimeglio (456244) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394401)

The way I see it, that would be the fastest man-powered vehicle but I see your point.

Peyton Rose (-1)

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Negroes runners are fast (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393345)

Most of the fastest runners in the world are Negroes. Many have wondered why this is the case.

Interestingly, the reason most often cited is that in Africa, natural seclection favored the Negroes who could run fast enough to escape the preditors. Or at least faster than another tribesmen. The slow ones got eaten up.

need biochemists (5, Interesting)

KernelMuncher (989766) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393421)

To analyze why Bolt is the fastest man, instead of a team of physicists they should hire a team of biochemists. Who wants to bet Bolt is entirely clean of steroids ?

[ Note that Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, two top Jamaican sprinters, both recently tested positive for banned stimulants. ]

Re:need biochemists (2, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393533)

Why is this a big deal?

If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying. I just wish we would be totally open about it. Since we can probably assume all the runners are at least trying to do something like that, we can just ignore it.

This is like trying to find a winner for the tour de france that was not doping in some form, good luck. That sport is more properly referred to as cheating on two wheels.

Re:need biochemists (2)

Viol8 (599362) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393631)

The problem is if you make sport a performance drugs free for all then people are going to overdose and kill themselves. Its better the way it is.

Re:need biochemists (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393685)

people are going to overdose and kill themselves.

And the problem with this is. . . ?

Re:need biochemists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393781)

people are going to overdose and kill themselves.

And the problem with this is. . . ?

They tend to OD off-camera?

If you can't broadcast it, you can't sell advertising.

Re:need biochemists (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395453)

Losing too many high-performing athletes.

Re:need biochemists (3, Informative)

Kielistic (1273232) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393817)

Worse than that. It will practically be a requirement to overdose and kill yourself to be competitive.

Re:need biochemists (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394483)

Yep to compete, "clean" athletes would no longer have a choice but to join their doping counter parts. Doping is a lot more complex than just steroids though, one can argue that taking a performance multi vitamin introduces non-natural performance enhancements, it's however the more extreme stuff that's banned.

Re:need biochemists (4, Interesting)

erice (13380) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394569)

Worse than that. It will practically be a requirement to overdose and kill yourself to be competitive.

Indeed. In racing, any advantage that is not forbidden is mandatory.

So, if you eliminate rules prohibiting doping then all competitive athletes will have to max out on drugs, steroids, and red blood cell enhancements. "Max" will be whatever allows the most performance while still allowing the athlete the stay alive long enough to finish the race. Some will go over. The rest won't live much past their time in the spot light.

Re:need biochemists (2)

umghhh (965931) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394819)

I actually do not see a major problem with that. I do not see any benefit of having professional athletes anyway. The olympic ideals are all overdue.The countries that control better do not get medals at Olympic Games. This is as simple as that. If one accepts this as entertainment then all is ok. The only problem is the actual sports fans that do the sports for fun and to get better. Come to think of it this way you can have two venues - ones with sexed up entertainment agents and the other ones where hard work and talent is all that is allowed. I am afraid you would have to still transfer some funds from one to support the controls in another and I guess that is a real problem.

Re:need biochemists (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395941)

What value do they bring to society? They are famous/inspirational because they can run fast jump high or whatever. Do you think if a drug comes out that would make your doctor smarter/better at diagnosis but had equivalent health risks and you had the choice you'd go with the "natural" doctor? Wouldn't want him/her to be taking unnecessary risks after all. People that define themselves by their career will do whatever it takes to be the best. That is what it means to be competitive.

Re:need biochemists (3, Insightful)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393677)

Well, keep in mind there are also athletes who want to push their natural limits without PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) - this doesn't really leave them many opportunities (i'm from the cycling world, and have read heartbreaking stories of racers who opted out of doping to the ruin of their career, while dopers profit...)

There are other factors too, such as 'safe' limits for doping products. Everyone's going to want to push it even more of course... I'm in favor of clean sport.

Re:need biochemists (3, Interesting)

jkflying (2190798) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394953)

What we really need is two competitions: one with as much doping as you think your body can take, and another which is as strict as possible. That way we still have the 'pure human' competition, but we can also see crazy muscleheads with no testicles getting into full rage mode on the uphills.

Re:need biochemists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393709)

If you only regard sport as pure shlock entertainment that it is, no problem.

The rampant hero worship most people have for some form of professional sports? Not helped by steroids.

Re:need biochemists (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393761)

If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying

That's a non sequitur. "Trying" is about enhancing your performance through practice, training, technology, drugs, etc. "Cheating" is about being a fraud, lying, and claiming accomplishments that you haven't performed.

"Trying" is what advances the human race. "Cheating" is what holds us back. If you are going to break the rules, then break them, but be honest about it.

Re:need biochemists (1)

biometrizilla (1999728) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394475)

As they did with bodybuilding they should have both a "clean" and an "anything goes" Olympics. Any and all forms of drugs, genetic mods, etc. are allowed in the latter. I would love to see a human run the 100m in 6 seconds, then burst into flames after crossing the tape, swimmers with gills, etc.

Re:need biochemists (1)

quantaman (517394) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394701)

Why is this a big deal?

If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying. I just wish we would be totally open about it. Since we can probably assume all the runners are at least trying to do something like that, we can just ignore it.

This is like trying to find a winner for the tour de france that was not doping in some form, good luck. That sport is more properly referred to as cheating on two wheels.

Right now doping really only happens at the elite level, and the elite level athletes have elite doctors that stop them from hurting themselves.

But if you allow it at the elite level then the far larger number of athletes in junior and the sub-elite level are also going to dope. And they don't have the elite doctors to supervise so a lot of them are going to seriously harm themselves.

The current approach seems to be to allow the doping but to put up enough road blocks so the effect is kept relatively minimal.

Re:need biochemists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44395269)

Right now doping really only happens at the elite level, and the elite level athletes have elite doctors that stop them from hurting themselves.

But if you allow it at the elite level then the far larger number of athletes in junior and the sub-elite level are also going to dope. And they don't have the elite doctors to supervise so a lot of them are going to seriously harm themselves.

The current approach seems to be to allow the doping but to put up enough road blocks so the effect is kept relatively minimal.

No, it doesn't and no, they don't.

We see high-school kids "scoring" steroids, HGH and other performance enhancers (sometimes given to them by their parents) to get on their HS teams, to get college scholarships and a shot at the pros.

It's already happening.

Re:need biochemists (1)

pspahn (1175617) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393637)

Also note that documents revealed from the Biogenesis scandal apparently name a bunch of athletes from other sports, not just MLB, including boxing, tennis, basketball, NCAA athletes, and MMA (was there ever a doubt about those guys, though?)

Ryan Braun (a deliciously ironic last name) is suffering the worst of the witchhunt right now, but rest assured that a year or two from now, you're going to be hearing about folks across the entire sporting spectrum that have been taking these macho cocktails. People like to rip on baseball as the sport with the steroids problem, but in reality it's going to be every sport that has a problem, and baseball was simply the one that shined light on the whole thing.

Re:need biochemists (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394873)

the worst of the witchhunt right now,

Witch-hunt kinda implies that he isn't guilty. He isn't appealing this decision....baseball players ALWAYS appeal....they must have him dead to rights or he and the union would be pitching a fit over it instead of going along with it.

Re:need biochemists (1)

pla (258480) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393867)

Note that Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, two top Jamaican sprinters, both recently tested positive for banned stimulants.

Stimulants != steriods, Doctor.

And for reference, caffeine counts as a stimulant banned by the IOC.

Re:need biochemists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44394023)

caffeine is regulated by amount, not existence per se. It is assumed that there is a "normal" amount of caffeine consumption, like 8 triple-shot espressos per day or something like that.

Re:need biochemists (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394961)

It can hardly be worth restricting your caffeine-blood level like that just to be allowed to compete. Guess I'll never be a sprinter.

Re:need biochemists (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393891)

The real competition, is who can take the most drugs . . . and not get caught. So sports are actually a very nerdy business. You need an excellent medical team to push the level of drugs just right to the line . . . without going over it. There is probably a lot of interesting biochemical technology behind all that.

Tour de France? More like, Tour de Drugs.

Re:need biochemists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394151)

Here's the secret to elite sports: the people who design the drug tests are the same people who help athletes to subvert them. Athletes rarely test positive because it would not make sense to design a perfect drug test if you plan to make money on the backside. But organizers of sports like the perception of clean athletes and they love the never-ending breaking of world records that bring in fans and money. If anybody was actually serious about stopping doping they would go after the doctors.

Re:need biochemists (1)

Gman2725 (2947573) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394159)

Notice how they tested positive for banned stimulants and not steroids. They were trying to cut body weight. Bolt has always been really lean naturally since even his younger days.

Re:need biochemists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394419)

just sour grapes because being a roid ranger is the 'American' way.

Re:need biochemists (1)

edxwelch (600979) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394539)

Obviously you are wrong. Bolt himself has stated 'Drugs scandals have harmed sport but I am clean'. There's never been a case in the history of sport where an athlete has been caught lying about taking drugs, so that's pretty much case closed.

Re:need biochemists (3, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394591)

I certainly wouldn't be shocked if Bolt was doping but he's the one champion from the traditionally dirty sports where I actually think he could be clean.

Basically Bolt is a freak, he has a physique that is obviously different from other elite sprinters. If his a-typical physiology is inferior I don't see how he could dope enough to achieve the dominance he has. And if his physiology is superior then we don't understand the scale of the physiological advantage well enough to know that he'd need drugs.

It's like when the Kenyans showed up on the distance running scene. If there were drugs the Europeans were taking they didn't make a difference, the Kenyans had an entirely different body type which gave them an advantage that drugs couldn't match.

Re:need biochemists (1)

number17 (952777) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395385)

I cheered for Ben Johnson until they caught him. Bolt is now the champ in my book, unless they catch him or someone else beats his time.

Re:need biochemists (1)

thePig (964303) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395263)

This is slander. Unless he is tested positive, it is extremely unfair to him and the hours he put in to be labelled a cheat without a shred of evidence against him. Cynicism is all well and good - but this goes beyond that. Shame to the mods also.

Re:need biochemists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44395267)

Can't tell if implying he uses steroids, or is just a natural phenom.

Either way, the physical factors involved make a strong case that he is just a peak runner of humanity. If you don't know what factors I'm referring to, it is fairly well known that people of African descent have slightly different lower leg formations than European or Asian descendants, that in turn result in improved performance for leg biomechanics. Combine that with hieght, proper training and nutritional regimen, and general natural ability, and it's not hard to see that he is a peak of humanity for the given task. Yes, he's a statistical outlier, but until proven otherwise by the IOC and IPC (World Anti-Doping Agency), I hold hope that we, he, can move that fast by natural, non-steroid performance enhancing means.

This may be a naive outlook, since the Olympics, and international competition is rife with steroid use, but I'm trying to be a 'glass is half full', kind of guy these days.

He's certainly the best for (2)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393437)

The 44,183.2722 & 88,366.5444 potrzebie sprints.

Eat lots of jerk chicken mon (0)

stevegee58 (1179505) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393473)

That's what made me the fastest man in the world too.

Re:Eat lots of jerk chicken mon (4, Funny)

coldsalmon (946941) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393675)

This also worked for the fattest man in the world.

Re:Eat lots of jerk chicken mon (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394891)

I read this link as "Physics of the worlds fattest man" when I clicked on it. I was mildly disappointed. That would be more interesting.

Re:Eat lots of jerk chicken mon (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44395343)

To the lab, my colleague!

Re:Eat lots of jerk chicken mon (1)

nickersonm (1646933) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395407)

That should be easy: "Assume a spherical human"

Re:Eat lots of jerk chicken mon (1)

Valdrax (32670) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394291)

Well, you are what you eat.

Article had crazy typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393503)

Usain Bolt's acceleration at the start is 9.5 m s^-1 which is on the order of gravity.

They pretty much lost me at that point.

Re:Article had crazy typo (1)

fisted (2295862) | 1 year,5 days | (#44394031)

Dude, are you new here? It's TFA. You did what, read it? /.ers...ridiculous.

What about Africa's most intelligent man? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393519)

Or couldn't they find one...

Re:What about Africa's most intelligent man? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393949)

Famous African mathematicians: ? ? ? ?

Re:What about Africa's most intelligent man? (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395549)

Famous African mathematicians: ? ? ? ?

"Famous", dunno, but I also dunno how many significant mathematicians are famous.

I also don't know whether the guy whose doctoral thesis was "Mod-2 K-Theory of the Second Iterated Loop Space on a Sphere" [nodak.edu] should have been famous as a mathematician, but then again, I don't know what a "Mod-2 K-Theory of the Second Iterated Loop Space on a Sphere" is. Do you?

Bolt? (3, Funny)

Andrio (2580551) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393527)

I'd probably be that fast too if I had "Bolt" in my name.

Steroids (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393687)

Remember all the ass kissing articles about how Lance Armstrong was some super amazing superhuman?

Now we got the PR out in full swing, right after a couple of Bolt's teammates got busted for doping.

Don't be so fucking naive. They're ALL juicing in some way or another.

different kind of news for nerds (3, Interesting)

bazorg (911295) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393829)

You know what I'd love Usain Bolt to do? Or if not him, another top sprinter like him? While in their prime years, take a couple of seasons off and not participate in competition. Then announce he's going to take performance enhancing drugs just to see just how much faster it would be possible to run if it were not for sports rules.

Re:different kind of news for nerds (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394109)

Plenty of major athletes can juggle their time even better than this. They take performance-enhancing drugs _and_ compete in major competitions!

Re:different kind of news for nerds (1)

bazorg (911295) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395333)

true (and +5 funny, of course), but if the athlete/test subject did not have worry about rules and his long term health, then we could find out just how fast a man can run, rather than how fast a man can run without being caught breaking the rules of his sport.

Physics of the worlds fattest man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393833)

Now that would be more appropriate for slashdot.

Misread as Fattest (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#44393905)

I initially read this as "The World's Fattest Man." Pretty disappointed now that I see it's a completely different article.

There is no physics involved (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,5 days | (#44393987)

The guy is simply pushing himself so hard he's almost escaping The Matrix [vimeo.com] .

Misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394091)

Did anyone else misread the title as Physics of the World's Fattest Man? Here I was expecting some slow-mo analyses of jiggling and heavy breathing.

I thought the world's quickest man (1)

Muros (1167213) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394185)

was Uncle Marvo [www.hehe.at]

oh, "fastest" ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394203)

I thought it said "world's fattest man". I wanted to learn about weight, inertia, and structural reinforcement.

Is his wife happy about that ;) (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394219)

s his wife happy about that ;)

Re:Is his wife happy about that ;) (1)

zlives (2009072) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395051)

hi wife is more worried about thermo dynamics

Honourable? (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | 1 year,4 days | (#44394497)

Thats a stretch, guy's the biggest jackass in the running world.

completely useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394499)

The whole article doesnât help someone to understand why usain bolt os the fastest.

Big joke....:)-

Big joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394537)

The writer doesnât say anything to say why bolt is the fastest. Some useless physics data...

Anything beyond P:W and Cda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44394841)

Is there anything to it beyond Power:Weight and Coefficient of drag? Yeah, steroids; blah, blah. If Bolt has optimal P:W and drag, I would think steroids wouldn't make much of a difference. Just googling around it seems there is a trend towards taller sprinters, and Bolt is 6'5" which is pretty tall. Any taller and perhaps he would have terrible drag. Maybe there's an optimal height that allows you to develop a lot of power without getting too heavy, and push it through the air. Coaches may have been selecting poor candidates for training in the past. Bolt's body type might be the future, and then we'll just see incremental gains...

Something Fishy (1)

Jaime2 (824950) | 1 year,4 days | (#44395561)

The article says that he experiences 1g of drag at 27mph. That means if you threw him out of a plane, he'd fall at less than 30mph and probably live. Sounds like there's an error in their analysis somewhere.
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