How physics sunk the Titanic


#1

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#2

Physics has been deeply involved in every murder the universe has ever had.

It's history's greatest monster!


#3

Well it kind of had to be physics, unless perhaps it was magic. But I'm leaning toward physics.


#4

Bill Nye would love this. Materials engineering is his thing, which he did full-time during his work at Boeing.


#5

I'm disappointed that she took plain old grade school demonstrations out for this. I was hoping someone had taken a scale sheet of approximately equivalent steel and shown how it was much more fragile in the North Atlantic waters than it would have been at room temperature. I was curious how much difference it would actually make, not a lecture that boils down to "heat changes materials".

I also thought the end was a bit optimistic. The Titanic wasn't entirely sunk by a poor understanding of materials science, but also due to possibly criminal cost cutting measures at the manufacturer. That sort of thing could easily still happen today.


#6

Grammarly: Let's try, "How physics SANK the Titanic." Sink, Sank, was Sunk.


#8

Of course, had the Titanic sank today, the conspiracy theorists would have went bugnutty with how it really happened, right down to the Jewish/Muslim riveter with the Hindi grandparents who were paid by the Nigerian-influenced congressman who warned Lutherans not to buy tickets for the maiden voyage.
And that's how we eventually took Alaska from the Russians.


#9

Also, the paragraph is slightly incorrect. The Titanic didn't take a hit "head on". It has been my understanding from years of documentaries that had it actually taken the hit directly on the bow it most likely wouldn't have have sank as that would have only breached one or maybe two of the frontmost watertight compartments (4 could be flooded and the ship was still able to stay afloat). The problem arose from the glancing blow along the starboard side which compromised the integrity of at least 5 of them.


#10

Just as the Illuminati had instructed -- Think, people!


#11

Sank you very much.


#12

Right. Physics has been involved with nearly every sinking in history.


#13

I'm not sure a head on collision would have helped that much, because the Titanic had a colossal design flaw where the watertight components were not sealed at the top, so once the water got high enough it spilled over into the next compartment and doomed the ship.

Like most disasters the Titanic was not the result of any one particular flaw, but a whole system of failure that built on itself. The undersized rudder didn't give the ship enough steering authority to dodge the iceberg. The Captain was going too fast for foggy North Atlantic seas because he wanted to win a bet. The metal was potentially more fragile than it should have been due to metallurgical defects and cost cutting and the cold water. The rivets used were probably substandard. The ship used square portholes instead of round which added stress points to the metal and facilitated fracturing. The watertight compartments were not sealed at the top. The glancing blow ripped a larger hole than was designed for. The radio operators on nearby ships were not doing their jobs, and lookouts mistook distress flares for fireworks.

There are a ton of factors in play, and solving any one of them could have avoided or reduced the magnitude of the disaster.


#14

Thank you stsimmer -- reading sunk in that context (and a headline) is like nails on the blackboard of my soul. But the torture continues in the other comments. "Of course, had the Titanic sank today, the conspiracy theorists would have went bugnutty" made me weep.


#15

But it was like that because that was hard to make happen. The usual account from books like A Night to Remember is that with one or two compartments flooded it wouldn't get low enough to sink. It took ripping open a whole five compartments at the end for it to tip enough that water would spill over, and that was only possible because it was turning.


#16

I believe the Liberty Ships had some of the same problems 3 decades later. The icy North Atlantic waters played billyoh with the steel and rivets in the speedily-cranked-out Liberty ships; they sacrificed quality (specifically toughness) for quantity. As a result, often they would go under after a torpedo strike or fight that wouldn't faze another vessel.


#17

around 40s in she says:"[The Titanic] was struck by an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland and sank". Which seems odd, unless iceberg propulsion was much better back then than it is today.


#18

It's just like those drivers who get hit by that tree that jumped out in front of them.


#19

i misread the headline as "how PSYCHICS sunk the Titanic" and my interest was immediately piqued. Oddly enough, however, i was not wondering how, but WHY.


#20

They were trying to get Uri Geller's mailbox.


#21

Grandpa?