# Titanic Disaster

1. Mar 30, 2006

### heman

What was the reason of Titanic Disaster??
one thing that amazes me is that iceberg was really small ,,shown in the movie and it had the capability of ruputuring the ship apart..yeah and absolutely the ship became brittle but even then there should be something more into it which goes deeper...

2. Mar 30, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Most of the iceburg was below water and couldn't be seen.

3. Mar 30, 2006

### Pengwuino

Yah aren't most iceburgs at the most, 1/3 above water?

4. Mar 30, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
According to the movie?! The movie isn't by any means historically accurate! It's a movie.

Only a small portion of an iceberg is visible above the surface of the ocean, the rest is hidden beneath. That large section beneath is what the Titanic hit.

5. Mar 30, 2006

### heman

yeah Pengwuino,,approx. only 10% is above surface of water...
Moonbear,,the movie isn't accurate ,,thats what led me to make this thread..
so if 10 % is above surface ,,then a limit of size can be considered...even then i doubt how can iceberg do that...i haven't been ever convinced..

6. Mar 30, 2006

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
I think the point is that you have NO idea of the size of the iceberg that did the damage. There has been so much learned about this disaster in the last 20yrs that there is really nothing left to guess about.

7. Mar 30, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

I read a lot about the construction years ago, apparantly it was a series of small things going wrong that ultimately led to the sinking. It's interesting to read about. There appeared to be a problem with the rivets.

http://www.titanic-online.com/index.php4?page=319 [Broken]

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
8. Mar 30, 2006

### heman

Integral,,
My idea is according to the movie ..
And actually there is nothing much i saw about or anything at all about the size of iceberg when i tried to search about it..

"Experts have since found evidence, however, that it was the location, rather than the extent, of the damage that caused the ship to sink."
http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761564059/Titanic_Disaster.html

Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
9. Mar 30, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
10. Mar 30, 2006

### PerennialII

Sequence of things go wrong and stuff happens. But seriously, when look at the material properties of stuff used at those times, even say pre-50-60s let alone the Titanic, always surprised anything has stayed afloat, aloft... under any kind of slightly abnormal situation.

11. Mar 30, 2006

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
Ok, I beleive that there were reports of ice on the main deck of the Titantic. Now I'll bet that was at least 15m ABOVE the water. So that implies that there were several times that below the water (90% by volume) . That is one HUGE chuck of ice! Do I think it big enough to cause the damage? Considering the several problems with the steel and rivits.. Yes I do.

What do you think sunk the Titantic, if not an iceberg?

12. Mar 31, 2006

### heman

from where did you get that value...?

what i find amazing is,on one hand there is iceberg ,nothing but frozen water and that was even standing still...and on the otherhand unsinkable Titanic engineered to be one of the best... perhaps i am not able to see what you can all see.

13. Mar 31, 2006

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
First of all I am somewhat familiar with large ships, having lived on one for 2yrs. From the pictures you can count 4 or 5 rows of Portholes above the water line, so at roughly 3m per deck I get about 15m, this may be conservative I doubt it was anything less then that. Then my source for ice on the deck... The movie of course.

You must also remember that a ship that size has a tremendous amount of momentum, they do not, nor can they be stopped quickly. Icebergs can indeed be very big, ice is also very solid, 5cm of steel plate is nothing to tons of ice. Of course the iceberg was moving, it was drifting on the ocean currents, at a much different rate and a different direction then the ship was moving.

14. Mar 31, 2006

### i_wish_i_was_smart

yo havent you ever seen an ice cube floating in your cup of water or whatever.... what percentage is above the survace of the water..... go check it out

15. Mar 31, 2006

### heman

Considering the dimensions of Titanic,,it couldn't move the iceberg..My problem is right here ,i am not able to understand what kind of collision it was,and how it was propagated,,,...its just easy to say that collision took place and titanic got teared apart..what about from physics point of view..

iceberg is above 10% is physics,,its easy to work out using eqns of fluid mechanics...but what about physics involved during collision...

16. Mar 31, 2006

### heman

Evo,thats an interesting and valuable thread..
i guess you guys have superior searching skills..

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
17. Mar 31, 2006

### FredGarvin

From everything I have seen on the Titanic (and no...I have never seen the movie) there was not a whole lot of damage done by the iceberg. The majority of the blame went to very poor ship design.

What exactly are you trying to figure out heman, when you say you are interested in the physics of the collision?

BTW, from Evo's source:
I never knew what RMS stood for. Now I know.

18. Mar 31, 2006

### Physics is Phun

wow, I forgot how interested I used to be in the Titanic. What I didn't know about were the sister ships, that's really neat. I always had the impression that the titanic was though the best of the best, and, one of it's kind, but the Olympic had alread sailed before the titanic.

What I wonder is why it was scrapped? shouldn't have some sort of museum or historical society been just livid with the Idea that an exact copy of the Titanic would be destroyed?

19. Mar 31, 2006

### brewnog

You mean it wasn't the Root Mean Squared Titanic?

20. Mar 31, 2006

### FredGarvin

That term always popped into my head when I saw or heard that! I can't help it. I know it's not the correct term, but work is the only place I hear those three letters together like that.

21. Mar 31, 2006

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
This is mindless ! It's like saying "I can't believe the correction from screening, to the energy of a valence electron in Mercury is yea large" ... without actually doing the highly non-trivial analysis involved.

PS : RMS = Royal Mail Ship, HMS = His/Her Majesty's Ship

Last edited: Mar 31, 2006
22. Mar 31, 2006

### heman

what i think the ship may be brittle and iceberg first formed a kind of crack..(like diamond forms on the surface of glass) and then titanic under its own momentum proceeded formard and the crack proceeded and titanic got ripped apart..now since the iceberg doesn't have mass and as Integral said,,iceberg was floating on the surface of water...From where did it got the stregth to make that crack propagate,,instead it should have moved along with the ship..

and how is actually the paths of the ships destined,,,,,can they follow any path or some very defined path suitable for them...

23. Mar 31, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

I have a decent picture-book, aimed at teenagers, which actually has some pretty good info. It says that some of the 3rd class passengers played soccer with the chunks of ice that landed on the deck. If I can find it, I'll see if it has any dimension info...

Another thing to remember is since an iceberg has ~90% of its mass/volume below water and a ship has probably 75% of its volume above water, an iceberg that appears above water to be several tiems smaller than a ship may actually be significantly more massive.

24. Mar 31, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Oh, I thought at least you knew that part....

The Titanic attempted to turn to avoid the the collision and struck a glancing-blow, with the iceberg sliding down the side of the Titanic. The collision caused the side to be damaged pretty far along (much like your car if you slide along a guard-rail). The damage was relatively minor - just some popped-open side panels (due in part to overly-brittle steel), but 700 feet of ruptured side panels, even if the cracks were only an inch or so wide, was plenty to fill the ship with water in a few hours.

The Titanic didn't actually break apart until minutes before the whole thing sunk. That's part of the reason so many people were killed - no one realized there was a big problem initially (not even the crew), and hours were wasted while the ship slowly sunk. I remember the book I have has a quote from the designer where he told the captain shortly after it was struck that the ship would sink and the captain didn't believe him.

Last edited: Mar 31, 2006
25. Mar 31, 2006

### Cyrus

Overly brittle steel, cold water, and cracks = BAD.

If,

$$K_I \geq K_c$$

where, $K_c$ is the facture toughness.

The crack will propagate at high speeds across the width of a structural element, causing catastrophic failure. And that would be bad.