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Logic problem

  1. May 4, 2009 #1
    I heard this problem a few months ago:
    James Bond swam underwater to get into the villain's base. When he arrived, he was discovered and placed in a vat of very strong acid, how did he survive?

    Ask any questions.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2009 #2
    1) What kind of acid?
    2) Was he wearing anything, or inside of anything, that prevented direct contact with the acid?
    3) Is the answer you're looking for actually physically plausible?

    You'd be surprised how many people actually die (or are seriously injured) by falling into vats of acid. Here are a few:

    http://www.expressandstar.com/2006/11/27/horror-as-man-falls-into-acid/ [Broken]

    From these reports it's apparent that falling into a vat of acid is not necessarily fatal if you can manage to get back out in time and wash off. So a possible solution to the Bond crisis is that he simply does that. If ht was put into a glass vat, then maybe he escapes by using his P99 to shoot his way out.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. May 4, 2009 #3
    1. Something very strong which can kill a person- something highly concentrated..
    2. The only clothing he was wearing was a wetsuit, which would not have protected him, as it is not waterproof.
    3. Yes, theoretically.

    Let's say he couldn't get out and was in there for a long time.
  5. May 4, 2009 #4
    4) Did his wetsuit actually come into contact with the acid?
    5) Did his skin actually come into contact with the acid?
    6) Was his wetsuit treated in any way?
    7) How much time transpired between him getting out of the water and getting put into the acid?
    8) How much time did or could his suit spend in contact with the acid? (assuming it did at all)
    9) Was he hurt in any way? (The implication from the wording is that he was totally fine)
    10) Was anything else apart from him placed into the acid either shortly before, during, or shortly after his submersion? (Assuming he was actually submersed, which isn't explicitly stated, see #4 and #5)

  6. May 4, 2009 #5
    4. Technically yes
    5. "
    6. No
    7. Not very long
    8. Say, 20 minutes.
    9. He was unhurt
    10. He was submerged, but nothing apart from him and what he had with him went in the acid

    Can I also point out that the quantity of acid was just enough to submerge him.
  7. May 4, 2009 #6
    My guess here (and I'm not up on the chemistry, really) is that there's something about the fact that his suit is still wet that's going to help him out. If (say) it was salt water versus fresh water, that may have an effect on the acid-- especially given that you stated that it was just sufficient to submerge him, which was going to be another question. IE, are we talking a 3 meter diameter cylindrical vat of acid that's 3 meters deep, or if it's JUST big enough to submerge him fully. Sounds like the latter, meaning there's not as much acid to neutralize.

  8. May 5, 2009 #7
    come on here...he swam in to the villain's BASE..thus neutralizing the ACID bath...a base is tyically sticky so provided him with a neutralizing coating despite being submerged in acid
  9. May 5, 2009 #8
    Very good, but not the answer I was looking for.

    Perhaps I should have used 'lair'.
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  10. May 5, 2009 #9
    That's not what I was thinking of.
    Although I'm also not that up on the chemistry, I don't think that being in salt water would help to neutralise the acid, as sodium chloride is not a base. If you're thinking it might dilute the acid, there's still quite a lot of acid there.

    Think about him going underwater.
  11. May 5, 2009 #10
    Wetsuits typically retain water in a boundary between the rubber and skin...this could have afforded him protection assuming he moved into the vat fairly quickly
  12. May 5, 2009 #11
    There was enough time to get water under the wetsuit.
  13. May 5, 2009 #12
    yes, I'm saying that that water layer protected him once he went into the vat of acid
  14. May 5, 2009 #13
    You wouldn't want to be there when the base neutralizes the acid.
  15. May 5, 2009 #14
    But a wetsuit isn't watertight. Anyway, his face would have been exposed, and that would have seriously harmed him, and may well have killed him.
  16. May 5, 2009 #15
    C'mon, this is James Bond we're talking about. None of those slow painful death things is ever going to work against him.

    Thinking quickly, he turned on the magnet in his watch which pulled his keychain out of his tux jacket lying on a chair on the other side of the room. On the keychain is a remote controller for his Austin Martin which he backs up in order to have room to pick up speed and for special effect. He then rushes the car forward crashing into the building, tipping over the vat and turning the tables on the bad guys who now wish they had just shot him between the eyes with a .45 like anyone, Mahatma Gandhi included, knows they should have. He makes a pun based on the way they died, "looks like they failed the acid test" or something like that, gets the champaign and caviar out of the glove compartment, and makes love to the beautiful woman who was chasing these idiots to get revenge for killing her third cousin twice removed, the only crime they ever pulled off successfully.
  17. May 5, 2009 #16
    Maybe it's something to do with the breathing apparatus he used, maybe the oxygen cannisters? But I've no idea how oxygen and acid would react...
  18. May 5, 2009 #17
    There's a good question-- it says "wetsuit", which I interpreted to mean "wetsuit, and wetsuit only", but typically there's a lot of associated diving gear such as a mask, air tanks, weights, fins, snorkel, etc. Plus it's James Bond, who always has a wide range of other assorted gear like camera pens, pistols, arsenic, and so forth.

    Also, earlier, the reply was "nothing apart from him and what he had with him went in the acid", which given the phrasing implies that there was something else he took with him into the acid apart from his normal body (no gadgets, etc implanted), and a material that covered perhaps 95% of his skin.

    As far as I can tell, his face is directly exposed to the liquid that's in the vat (that's almost explicitly stated). Hence, by the time his face hits the liquid, the liquid can no longer be a strong acid (or else he's harmed, even slightly). So something has happened to the acid to reduce its strength (or turn it into some other liquid) before he's completely submerged.

    The only ways to do that would be to add some other agent (ha-ha!) to the liquid, which Bond either has with him or somehow is added otherwise.

  19. May 5, 2009 #18
    I had the thought that maybe the air tanks would offer enough buoyancy so that he floated on the surface, but then that wouldn't fit with being submerged, or perhaps it would as when he's thrown in he would probably be submerged for a short time before bobbing up, and surely that would be enough to injure him.

    Looking at post #5 the acid is just enough to submerge him so there's probably not enough acid anyway. But what if he's thrown in with sufficient velocity that all the acid splashes up out of the vat? I'm thinking maybe Archimedes principle or something similar might come into play, with him displacing his body weight (or volume?) in acid or something along those lines?

    EDIT. But then the wet suit wouldn't have spent 20 minutes in contact with the acid unless you count the soaked up acid from the initial contact.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  20. May 6, 2009 #19
    You're on the right lines there.
  21. May 6, 2009 #20
    Um...the vat wasn't full?
  22. May 7, 2009 #21


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    i) Is the fact it is James bond important?
    ii) Is any knowledge of chemistry required?
    iii) Is the acid still an acid afterwards?
  23. May 7, 2009 #22
    i) Not really, no.
    ii) Probably a little.
    iii) No
  24. May 7, 2009 #23


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    Regular wetsuit?:

    http://www.simplyscuba.com/xxGetImage.aspx?StockID=35605&ImageNumber=2 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  25. May 11, 2009 #24


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    WHats the answer!!
  26. May 11, 2009 #25
    OK, he would have used breathing apparatus to swim underwater- but what gives away the position of a diver using conventional breathing apparatus? How could this problem be overcome?
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