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Plunging into water

  1. Aug 4, 2007 #1
    I have no idea if this is the correct part of the forum to be posting this in...


    My wife and I just saw "Bourne Ultimatum." At the end of the movie, Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, plunges into a body of water from a height of 10 stories. Apparently, he survives. He weighs about 180-190, I'd guess, and I thought that hitting water at that height would be enough to kill him. Can anyone give a rough estimate on what that force of impact would be equivalent to under real-world circumstances?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2007 #2
    This isn't the type of question that can really be answered well using basic mechanics calculations.. you'd be better off looking for "experimental" records and statistical data, maybe a military training manual or similar.
  4. Aug 4, 2007 #3


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  5. Aug 5, 2007 #4

    I suppose you're right. I imagined that the assumed mass of the person falling, coupled with gravitational acceleration at the given height, and the density of water might have made for good speculation.

    I was watching a special on the Golden Gate Bridge the other day and it was mentioned by the engineers that the heights at which the workers were posted, hitting the water had the equivalent force of 1,540 p.s.i. It was compared to hitting a concrete wall with a car at 80 mph. Of course, the height of the two posts on the Golden Gate Bridge far exceed ten stories, which brought about the curiosity after seeing the movie.

    Thanks for the interesting link, mgb_phys.
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