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Julia Dowd '21

After talking about fluids and pressure in class, I decided to see what pressures humans can withstand under water. I was able to think about the pressure I feel when I go to the bottom of my pool, and I wanted to see how deep a person can go before it becomes unsafe. The average human can withstand 3 to 4 atmospheres of pressure, which equals about 3x10^5Pa of pressure. This would mean that a human would be able to dive about 20 meters (66ft) into water without any scuba gear. This can be figured out with the formula P=pgh+Patmospheric, and when plugging in the values you get:
3x10^5Pa= (1000kg)(9.8m/s^2)(h)+(1.013x10^5Pa)
However, the current world record for a person diving into the water with no gear is 214 meters
(702 feet). In order to do this the person needed to have a weight to take him down and a system that brought him back up from the water. Using the same formula, I found that this person experienced 2x10^7Pa of pressure, which is much higher than the average person is said to be able to withstand. By having a system that was able to bring the person down and back up meant that he did not have to experience the pressure for long, but either way it was a dangerous experiment and physics shows that it is not recommended.
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