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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
Description: Although a rowing shell with eight rowers is much larger than one with a single rower, all shells have roughly the same proportions (at least for the surface area over which the shell makes contact with water). Data from 2000-meter world and Olympic championship races show that the larger boats go faster than the smaller ones. In the late 1960s, that fact caught the eye of Thomas A. McMahon (1944-1999), a professor of applied mechanics and an expert in animal locomotion at Harvard. He wondered why that might be true. How does the speed depend on the number of rowers?...

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Physics, Sports

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