Sunday, June 1, 2008

Most obvious nickname ever...


When we went to watch Chris running on the treadmill at Rob Gym Vincenzo asked what the fastest speed anyone could run at was. Well the answer just changed (albeit only very, very slightly). Usain 'lightning' Bolt, a 21 year old Jamaican, is now officially the fastest man in the world with a time of 9.72 for the 100m in New York last night. Since 1 m/s = 2.237 mph that means Usain was doing 10.28 m/s or 23.01mph, just a hair over the previous record of 9.74 or 22.98 mph.

In a slight complexity there is just one person, Michael Johnson, who ran at a faster average speed for 200m (the world record of 19.32 s or 10.35 m/s or 23.15 mph). This is because of the fixed costs of the slow start. Sprinters probably accelerate up to maximum speed within 60m and then are gradually slowing down. Due to this fact the world record speeds for 100m and 200m are always similar. The instantaneous speed reached is not measured as a matter of course but 10m split times for the 100m and radar gun data suggest that humans can reach instantaneous speeds of almost 12 m/s which would be in excess of 25 mph. If there was a regular 140m or 150m event I imagine the world land speed record would be set over that distance.

That's still slower than a hippopotamus.....

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