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Homework Help: Free falling person

  1. Sep 11, 2006 #1
    Forgot my textbook at school so Im stuck doing a physics problem without enough info :cry: ... looked in at a few sites but no luck :frown:

    So I thought I could ask you guys ;)

    About what speed on impact would a free falling person survive if landing:
    (a) head first onto a hard surface
    (b) feet first into water
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2006 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    That is a very odd physics question.

    Head first on a hard surface does not take much to cause a severe concusion or break a neck. Someone hitting head first from a handstand of 6 inches could break a neck on a hard surface, depending on the body weight (mass) and lack of strength in the neck.

    Diving height for men in cliff diving is 28 meters / 92 feet. Some go in head first.
    http://www.whdf.com/infos/event-regulations/calendar.htm [Broken]

    http://www.whdf.com/infos/sport/sport_records.htm [Broken]
    Highest Dive Women
    In 1985, the American Lucy Wardle dove at Ocean Park in Hongkong from 120ft / 36.80 meters.

    Highest Dive Men
    In 1987, the Swiss Oliver Favre performed a double back somersault from 177ft / 53.90 meters in Villers-le-Lac, France (see www.olivershow.com)

    Some guy did survive going over Niagra Falls (The Falls drop about 170 feet (52 m), on the Canadian side) -
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  4. Sep 11, 2006 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This seems like a combo physics / trauma question.
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