Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Dropping a diver head first. Can he land feet first?

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 07/31/2012
Q:
If a diver were dropped head first (suspended by his feet) into a pool would he be able to land feet first into the water
- Nicholas Andrade (age 27)
San Antonio TX USA
A:
In principle it's possible. Watching some gymnastics events on TV,  I have seen the remarkable things that they can do.   You can demonstrate the phenomenon of changing your spatial orientation by sitting on a swivel bar-stool and manipulating your arms a bit.  My other experimental experience, as an eight year old brat, was to drop a cat upside down from various heights.  At a height of 12 inches or above the cat landed safely on all four paws. Below that, the cat would give me a dirty look and then go hide.  The advantage of a cat, of course, is that it has a tail it can whip around.  

LeeH

(published on 07/31/2012)

Follow-up on this answer.