Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The World's Fastest Human

This is just something that has always bothered us, as long time track and field aficionados: the title "World's Fastest Human" being bestowed on the 100 meter world record holder. Sports writers the world over (random example) rely on this cliche this, but in a week where the 100m record dropped to 9.69 seconds, and the 200m record went to 19.30, it's worth pointing out that 19.30 divided by 2 equals 9.65. This is because you don't have that whole zero-to-30 acceleration thing in the second 100 meters (actually, the real peak is probably around 60m - 160m, but this is hard to measure), so that 100 meters is where the World's Fastest Human earns the title. The 400m record (43.18) is well more than twice the 200, so there you have it: the record holder in the 200 meters is the World's Fastest Human, not the 100.

Yeah, okay, they're now both held by Usain Bolt, but that's not the point, now is it.

2 comments:

katie said...

The investigative journalist never quits! I hope Bob Costos picks up your story, he seems like the kind of guy who would like it.

Why not put together a math and science book? Chapter 1 on physics of santa, chapter 2 on math and track...

Krellinator said...

All I know is that I am utterly disgusted with both the US men and women's 4x100 relay teams with those dropped batons. I know handoffs are tough, but it's the Olympics, people! WTF??