Simulation: A Bungee Jumper Accelerates Faster than Gravity!





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Published on Jun 22, 2012

This simulation approximates the physics of a chain using common forces. The simulated forces are: Gravity, Friction, Spring, and Spring Dampening. There are 200 chain links, with a total mass of 100 kilograms, and the object attached to the end of the chain is also 100 kilograms. The spring coefficient of each chain link is 1,000,000 newtons per meter, so each chain link is essentially a rigid body. (even so, you can see some stretching in the chain due to the huge forces!) There's another free falling mass for comparison purposes.

Note: The x-axis is zoomed in by 8 times! The y-axis represents about 120 meters, while the x-axis is about 15 meters! This means that the video is exaggerated.

The graph on the right shows the balls acceleration over time. At the moment it's dropped, there's still some energy stored in the deformation of the chain, and this is released before the object goes into free fall, which is why you see a little spike where the acceleration is more than 9.81 meters/second^2. After that, the chain is in free fall for a while, and the acceleration of the mass stays at exactly 9.81 meters per second per second. Then things start to get interesting: The chain is being pulled around the bend in itself, and this actually carries over and affects the acceleration of the mass!

Another interesting feature is the standing wave set up at the bottom. This isn't visible in veritasium's video, "Chain Drop Answer". I think the issue is because there isn't enough friction that opposes the rotation of links relative to each other.

The program is written in Dark Basic Professional, and you can view the source and compile it yourself here:

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    • Standard YouTube License


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