Monday, November 19, 2007

The Challenger Deep

My homepage for Safari is a random page on wikipedia. I'll say that 40% I find a useless irrelevant page like one on some unknown district in India or in Minnesota. However, the other times I can find true gems and oddities (Vang Stone or Australian Senate election of 1967). This time though I found something that correlates with my work in physics and fluid motion.

The Mariana Trench is the worlds deepest oceanic trench. It goes down to a maximum 11 km down. This makes it the deepest location on the surface of the earth's crust. It is located where the Pacific plate is subducted beneath the Philippine plate. In 1960 the bathyscape(similar to a spherical shape so as not to be crushed by the intense pressure) "Trieste" reached the bottom with two men. The gauge presure of the seawater at the bottom is 1030kg/mcubed times 9.8m/s squared times 11000m. This is equal to 111034000 Pascals. This is over a thousand times greater than the atmospheric pressure we experience at sea level! It is almost scary to imagine the sheer darkness and fear one would experince being at that depth, although life persists even at that depth (foot long flounders and shrimp).

So now I've gone from space to the depths of the ocean. Hauntingly but beautifully, physics is omnipresent.

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