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SwiminONandON
December 8th, 2004, 04:20 PM
This is something I have been thinking about since the Olympics... at what point will it not be possible for human beings to swim or run any faster. There has to be a point where the human body just can't go any faster, no matter how much you train, what kind of things you put into your body (legal or not), etc.

I mean it isn't possible to swim a 400 IM, for example, in 2 seconds (at least I don't think it ever will be) so where does it end? And when will that happen?

newmastersswimmer
December 8th, 2004, 05:25 PM
Actually it doesn't really have to have any "real" end.....the logic behind 2 seconds as a lower boundary for any single event doesn't really prove there will be an ultimate "end" to setting new world records. To break an existing world record you only have to break it by one hundreth of a second or so (maybe in the future with more sophisticated timing technology (i.e. devices)....this can be even less....like one ten thousandth of a second??).....BUT If every world record had to be beat by a second or more to be legitimate I can almost agree with your assessment......As it stands now though, you can give an ultimate lower boundary for any event (like 2 seconds for example).....then nobody would ever reach that lower boundary...BUT when you look at the gap of possible times that lies between that ultimate lower boundary and the existing world record, there will always be enough room (with sophisticated enough timing technology) for such a large number of "legitimate" possible times that lie within that gap of time that the number of legitimate possibilites might as well be infinite ......It's "similar" to saying something like: What if I can never reach the wall over there but I can always go half way to the wall....then half way again...then half way again....Is there a limit then to how close I can get to the wall?....the only difference is that there really are then an infinite number of possible legitimate "closer" distances I can get to the wall in that hypothetical scenario.


Sorry (I'm a geek please forgive me)

newmastersswimmer

Seagurl51
December 8th, 2004, 05:25 PM
That's an interesting concept to think about. I had never thought about that before, so of course it got me thinking and this is what I came up with (just in case anyone wanted to know my 2 cents). I think that eventually "natural" records will cease to exsist. Times will become so unbreakable they won't be able to be beaten without some sort of enhancement. Your right, the human body can only be pushed so far without help. I hate to think of that being the case. But I think as long as the records can be broken naturally, they will be.

~Kyra

p.s. and of course, the math prof. baffles all of us with logic:eek:

newmastersswimmer
December 8th, 2004, 05:28 PM
Looks like we both replied to the initial question at "almost" the exact same time. So I won't hold it against you that you didn't take my argument into consideration....(i.e. I will forgive you)


newmastersswimmer

Seagurl51
December 8th, 2004, 07:15 PM
I agree that they will probably come up with more sophisticated ways of timing to make breaking a record easier rather than allowing enhancement chemicals, but people will only to break it down so far. I don't think that they are willing to go to the millionith or billionith of a second just for the sake of a record. I think that eventually you will either have to be using something to enchance yourself or you may never be able to break a record...assuming that they allow performance enhancing materials...which I don't think they will any time soon so I think we're all same from "drugged up super humans." Or people and our technology will become so advanced that is will come 360 and destroy the world and then we can all just start over again. :D

~Kyra

newmastersswimmer
December 8th, 2004, 08:07 PM
How about a quadrillionth of a nano-second?....(just kidding of course!)....Actually I did just find an interesting article about the smallest possible length of an interval of time (i.e. a smallest possible unit of time) according to the laws of quantum mechanics.....it is around 3.3 times 10 to the negative 44 I believe (if I just read that correctly??...I do have a short term memory problem....and a long term memory problem too now that I mention it!)......so 0.00000.....000033 seconds (where there are 43 zeros before the first nonzero digit of "3" appears).....It would be physically impossible, however, to develop a mechanism to actually differentiate two times that differ by an amount this small however (and utterly rediculuous to even consider).....But I do think that it will be a LONG time before we reach a point in which the only legitimate possible speeds faster than what has already been accomplished is any where near that small.....i.e. I believe there will be room for improvement in any event for a long time to come.

http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae598.cfm


newmastersswimmer

hooked-on-swimming
December 8th, 2004, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
I hate to think of that being the case. But I think as long as the records can be broken naturally, they will be.

~Kyra

p.s. and of course, the math prof. baffles all of us with logic:eek:

I do not think we see a lot of natural records even these days, we just hope they are natural, but I am sure that natural limit was broken some time ago, now it is the battle of doctors and drugs ...

Fred Johnson
December 8th, 2004, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
Actually it doesn't really have to have any "real" end.....the logic behind 2 seconds as a lower boundary for any single event doesn't really prove there will be an ultimate "end" to setting new world records. To break an existing world record you only have to break it by one hundreth of a second or so (maybe in the future with more sophisticated timing technology (i.e. devices)....this can be even less....like one ten thousandth of a second??).....BUT If every world record had to be beat by a second or more to be legitimate I can almost agree with your assessment......As it stands now though, you can give an ultimate lower boundary for any event (like 2 seconds for example).....then nobody would ever reach that lower boundary...BUT when you look at the gap of possible times that lies between that ultimate lower boundary and the existing world record, there will always be enough room (with sophisticated enough timing technology) for such a large number of "legitimate" possible times that lie within that gap of time that the number of legitimate possibilites might as well be infinite ......It's "similar" to saying something like: What if I can never reach the wall over there but I can always go half way to the wall....then half way again...then half way again....Is there a limit then to how close I can get to the wall?....the only difference is that there really are then an infinite number of possible legitimate "closer" distances I can get to the wall in that hypothetical scenario.


Sorry (I'm a geek please forgive me)

newmastersswimmer

Aren't you sorry you asked this question.:D

newmastersswimmer
December 9th, 2004, 09:16 AM
Aren't you sorry you asked this question. Originally posted by Fred Johnson in reply to newmastersswimmer's analysis


Hey now!....What's that suppose to mean anyway?......You have to be nice to your future business partners now....remember the new marketing enterprise for our future product "Slick"....the latest in hydrodynamic technology.....guaranteed to shave off at least 2 nano-seconds!!


newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
December 9th, 2004, 09:29 AM
I just discovered a rather humorous side note about the article I posted on the smallest possible unit of time (i.e. smallest possible interval of time) according to quantum mechanics.....The guy who answers the question tells you how he came up with the answer....but when I went back and calculated the correct answer (based on his logical argument), I discovered that while he has his head in the quantum mechanical clouds, he can't do simple arithmetic!! (but then I can't usually add two numbers correctly to save my life...so who am I kidding anyway lol!)....Anyway, either I need to go back to 3rd grade and learn how to divide two numbers all over again, or the smallest possible interval of time is around 3.3 times 10 to the negative 42 (not 10 to the negative 44 as he reported)......two full orders of magnitude off his calculation!


newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
December 9th, 2004, 09:41 AM
Well I guess I should go back to the third grade...b/c the answer is 0.33 times 10 to the negative 42 which is 3.3 times 10 to the negative 43 actually......(I told you I can't do simple arithmetic!)....but then again niether can the author of the article since he is still off by a full order of magnitude.

knelson
December 9th, 2004, 11:11 AM
There's really no point in developing timing systems that return more significant digits. Why? Think about the tolerance in pool design. If one swim was done in a pool a couple millimeters different in length from another, why bother going to .001 seconds in time? You see what I'm getting at?

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 9th, 2004, 11:37 AM
Also, no matter what, all timing devices must somewhere, somehow be started by humans. In college, I had a math professor who admitted that all mathematics are subject to failure and mistakes. All human activity is subject to our own "humanness." It really doesn't matter how acquartely we can measure because our intervention in the measurement must qualify and influence the measurement.

Yes, I went to a very liberal Liberal Arts college.

fatboy
December 9th, 2004, 12:03 PM
Sometimes records are broken by changes in swimming technique or rule changes. The underwater dolphin kick in the backstroke for example.

Other times changes in pool technology contributes to new records. Pools built today tend to be 'faster' than pools built in the 1960's due to better lane lines, gutters, etc.

newmastersswimmer
December 9th, 2004, 03:53 PM
There's really no point in developing timing systems that return more significant digits. Why? Think about the tolerance in pool design. If one swim was done in a pool a couple millimeters different in length from another, why bother going to .001 seconds in time? You see what I'm getting at? originally posted by knelson


The main problem I have with that argument is that the same argument can be used to discard differentiating times that differ by 0.01 seconds as well.....But they already do differentiate times that differ by 0.01....If you were to swim a race at a USS sanctioned meet and turn in a time that was 0.01 seconds faster than an existing record (World Records included), then you would officially be the new world record holder....Correct?....What's is the significant difference between a difference of 0.001 and a difference of 0.01 then?


newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
December 9th, 2004, 03:55 PM
Also, no matter what, all timing devices must somewhere, somehow be started by humans. In college, I had a math professor who admitted that all mathematics are subject to failure and mistakes. All human activity is subject to our own "humanness." It really doesn't matter how acquartely we can measure because our intervention in the measurement must qualify and influence the measurement. originally posted by CraigIII


I think the same argument I used to reply to knelson also applies here as well ....doesn't it?


newmastersswimmer

knelson
December 9th, 2004, 04:30 PM
I think measuring to the hundredth might be too fine a measurement if you're looking at swims in different pools at different times, but you need to get that kind of precision sometimes to find out who won a particular heat. Heck, look at the men's 50 in Athens. The three medalists were within a tenth of a second. Now, we don't know exactly what distance each swimmer had to swim, but we can tell from video that Gary Hall, Jr. touched the wall first. If the timing only went to 0.1 second, there would have been a tie for first unless a judge's decision could be used.

newmastersswimmer
December 9th, 2004, 04:46 PM
I think measuring to the hundredth might be too fine a measurement if you're looking at swims in different pools at different times, but you need to get that kind of precision sometimes to find out who won a particular heat. Heck, look at the men's 50 in Athens. The three medalists were within a tenth of a second. Now, we don't know exactly what distance each swimmer had to swim, but we can tell from video that Gary Hall, Jr. touched the wall first. If the timing only went to 0.1 second, there would have been a tie for first unless a judge's decision could be used. originally posted by Knelson


Even so, the reality of the situation is that the current system does in fact use measuring to within a hundredth of a second to differientiate times in different pools......As you pointed out....different pools can have slightly different lengths.....(and there are other properties that make one pool significantly "faster" than another pool besides just length differences as well)......These differences "easily" can account for more than 0.1 seconds (even in sprint events).....Holding everything else equal (which is totally hypothetical anyway) and considering only a small microscopic difference in the lengths of two different pools, the total difference in length over the course of a 1500 meter freestyle could easily account for much more than 0.1 seconds....(it may even be over 1 second in some cases??)....but none-the-less....If a swimmer breaks the existing 1500 meter world record at an appropriately sanctioned meet (in an accepted and sanctioned pool) by 0.01 seconds....then officially he or she is the new world record holder.

As far as the 50 meter freestyle goes.....I will take your argument a step further and say that within a single heat, a time difference of 0.01 seconds is not gauranteed to distinguish between two swimmers (even though underwater slow motion replay can see the difference!!)....So if you decide that a scale that measures differences on the order of 0.001 seconds is then needed in those situations....well guesss what?.....that then opens the door for using the same type scale to fit all other situations as well....at least thats the way it currently works isn't it??


newmastersswimmer

knelson
December 9th, 2004, 05:19 PM
You know this scenario has actually occurred before. In the 1984 LA Olympics Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer tied in the 100 meter free. The timing system used actually measured to 0.001 second, but FINA uses 0.01, so the tie stood. I don't think it was ever revealed who truly "won" according to the timing system.

I know there have been other ties, too, but this one sticks out in my mind.

EDIT: yeah, in the 50 if you run the numbers 22 seconds for 50 meters is 2.27 m/s, so in .01 seconds the swimmers travel .02 meters, or 2 cm. That's close to an inch for the metrically challenged :)

Fred Johnson
December 9th, 2004, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
Aren't you sorry you asked this question. Originally posted by Fred Johnson in reply to newmastersswimmer's analysis


Hey now!....What's that suppose to mean anyway?......You have to be nice to your future business partners now....remember the new marketing enterprise for our future product "Slick"....the latest in hydrodynamic technology.....guaranteed to shave off at least 2 nano-seconds!!


newmastersswimmer

Clearly, you are in charge of R&D. I can hardly figure my yardage in the morning. I'll take on marketing...they say lawyers are "slick". Seems like a nice fit, huh?

Fred Johnson
December 9th, 2004, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
Well I guess I should go back to the third grade...b/c the answer is 0.33 times 10 to the negative 42 which is 3.3 times 10 to the negative 43 actually......(I told you I can't do simple arithmetic!)....but then again niether can the author of the article since he is still off by a full order of magnitude.

I just had to go back and double check your profile. Imagine my surprise when I saw "Math Professor" as occupation. I'm proud to call you Chief of R&D for "Slick".

BTW, I have this "issue" with my check book. They say it has something to do with balancing.... :D

newmastersswimmer
December 10th, 2004, 08:36 AM
EDIT: yeah, in the 50 if you run the numbers 22 seconds for 50 meters is 2.27 m/s, so in .01 seconds the swimmers travel .02 meters, or 2 cm. That's close to an inch for the metrically challenged originally posted by knelson


Also, if you run the numbers using a very conservative speed of 1.73 m/s (which is slightly faster than world record pace for the 1500 meter freestyle...since 29 seconds per 50 meters is a little under world record pace and that converts to just under 1.725 m/s) ........you find out that a difference of just 1 cm in the length of a 50 meter pool will then account for just over a 0.17 second time difference. This all then supports my claim that going from a scale that differentiates times that difffer by 0.01 seconds to a scale that difffereniates times that differ by 0.001 seconds has no real significance when it comes to things like the small differences in pool lenghths (especially for races of any significant distance)........The real point is that "some" kind of scale must be used...and since even a scale based on 0.1 second increments is inadequate in certain situations, we must base the scale on sceneraios like differentiating between two swimmer's times in the 50 meter freestyle who are swimming in the same heat together.....It then is completely inconsequential at that point when it comes to extending the scale to all other situations (such as comparing times from different pools...etc...)

newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
December 10th, 2004, 08:43 AM
I just had to go back and double check your profile. Imagine my surprise when I saw "Math Professor" as occupation. I'm proud to call you Chief of R&D for "Slick".

BTW, I have this "issue" with my check book. They say it has something to do with balancing..

I can hardly figure my yardage in the morning. I'll take on marketing...they say lawyers are "slick". Seems like a nice fit, huh?


What does this so called "balancing a checkbook" thing mean now??.....My wife does all of that stuff for me.....she insisted on it....(along with other things like laundry for example...I don't even have permission to get within a certian number of feet from the laundry room!!)

Yaeh, I guess I could do the R&D for "Slick" Enterprises.......And I hope you are a good "slick" kinda lawyer...b/c I got a funny feeling we're going to need one if you know what I mean (and I know that you do!!)


newmastersswimmer

mattson
December 13th, 2004, 11:38 AM
One of the points that is stressed in introductory lab courses, is that you report a meaningful number of significant digits, compared to the precision of the measurement. If you are traveling from coast to coast by car, you mention the distance in miles, you don't bother to report an odd number of inches.

With hand timing, the human reaction time is about a tenth of a second. (I knew Psych 101 would come in handy some day...). Even though your hand watch has more precision, it makes no sense to go to greater precision than 0.1, based on the human element.

With video and electronic timing, the precision is better than 0.1 seconds. Knelson worked out that 0.01 seconds is a little less than an inch, which is a noticable separation with slow motion video.

I'd argue that 0.001 seconds separation would not be detectable, even with slow motion video.

newmastersswimmer
December 13th, 2004, 12:07 PM
Well you can always argue anything you want I suppose....unfortunately the actual reality is that you are very wrong though....Even if we use the average rate of a 22 second 50 meter swim (which is faster than most of us can swim any distance at)......one can travel approximately one fifth of a centimeter in 0.001 seconds (basically one tenth of the distance knelson calculated that you would travel at the same rate in 0.01 seconds). You don't think slow motion video can detect a distance of one fifth of a centimeter??....and/or that slow motion video can't take more than one still shot picture per 0.001 seconds?.....I guess you don't watch professional tennis much...b/c they have super high speed video cameras that take something like "ten to a hundred" (or maybe more?) still shots per 0.001 seconds.....it's how they can tell "almost" exactly when a ball hits the ground on a serve to see if it is actually in or out. There is absolutely NO doubt that there exists video technology that can determine who touched the wall first between two swimmers in the same heat whose times are no less than 0.001 seconds apart. And as knelson said....in 1984, the timing system in place at the Olympics COULD also discern between two swimmers who touch the wall at two different times that are at least 0.001 seconds apart. So I guess I'm not following your argument at all....sorry...I mean no offense though!


newmastersswimmer

LindsayNB
December 13th, 2004, 12:32 PM
If 0.01s corresponds to a distance of about 0.02m then 0.001s would correspond to 0.002m or 2mm. Unless your slow motion video was very high resolution, had a very high frame rate, and zoomed in to a relatively small area, 2mm would be subpixel resolution.

I think if swim races get down to being decided on 0.001s they will be boring as heck to watch. I already found the 50 free at the Olympics anti-climactic, only the electronic timing system could distinguish between the top few competitors. When results get that close you really need multiple attempts to make the results non-random.

What would be interesting to see would be plot of the improvements in times over the years. Is there an asymtopic limit we are approaching or is it still steady improvement.

gull
December 13th, 2004, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
What would be interesting to see would be plot of the improvements in times over the years. Is there an asymtopic limit we are approaching or is it still steady improvement.

My theory is that there is a limit we are approaching, but will never reach (until we genetically modify ourselves).

newmastersswimmer
December 13th, 2004, 12:45 PM
I think if swim races get down to being decided on 0.001s they will be boring as heck to watch. originally posted by Lindsay


I agree that it takes very sophisticated (and very expensive) video technology to provide video information that can discern between two swimmers who touch the wall 0.001 seconds apart......It's not necessary though b/c they have already had timing systems that can do this (as knelson pointed out).....As far as your quote above....I guess I don't really get your point there b/c it seems completely irrelevant as to what degree of precision the timing system is.....a race will appear the same to the naked eye either way won't it?....what makes a race more (or less) boring to watch then based on the degree of precision in the timing system?....(please see my message below after Mattson's in which I recant this last statement...sorry!)


newmastersswimmer

mattson
December 13th, 2004, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
If 0.01s corresponds to a distance of about 0.02m then 0.001s would correspond to 0.002m or 2mm. Unless your slow motion video was very high resolution, had a very high frame rate, and zoomed in to a relatively small area, 2mm would be subpixel resolution.

Yes! (Unfortunately, I had to modify my post, because you beat me to this.)


Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
it's how they can tell "almost" exactly when a ball hits the ground on a serve to see if it is actually in or out. There is absolutely NO doubt that there exists video technology that can determine who touched the wall first between two swimmers in the same heat whose times are no less than 0.001 seconds apart.

Wrong! (My opinion :D) I've watched those tennis matches as well. For most balls, I agree, they do a better job than a human observer could. But I noticed that you said "almost", because there are cases where you can't tell. (The commentators run the footage backwards and forwards several times, and disagree with each other what the right call was.) That is why in tennis, you rule the ball "in", unless you clearly see it out.

(I remember reading a tennis magazine article, where they placed a ball about an inch from the line, and took pictures from around the court. The line-persons vantage point could see the ball out. All other viewpoints, including the chair umpire, player, and TV camera view, the ball looked good. And this was without ball compression.)

There is significant doubt for a 2mm difference in swimming... For cameras mounted overhead, water distortion will make it difficult see a difference that small. Also, do you count the fingernail, or the (soft) pad of your middle finger? It is also a touch pad, so a small amount of compression is needed to detect contact. One swimmer might have zero separation between their finger and the surface of the touch pad, but another swimmer (who touched 0.001 seconds later) who is moving faster could cause their pad to trigger first.

Just because the clock electronics can report times to a thousandth of a second (or smaller), does not indicate how reliable (repeatable) those measurements will be.

newmastersswimmer
December 13th, 2004, 12:47 PM
I guess what you mean is that it would be boring to watch races in which everyone appears to touch the wall at virtually the same time (to the naked eye)...my pardons!



newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
December 13th, 2004, 04:35 PM
it's how they can tell "almost" exactly when a ball hits the ground on a serve to see if it is actually in or out. There is absolutely NO doubt that there exists video technology that can determine who touched the wall first between two swimmers in the same heat whose times are no less than 0.001 seconds apart. originalyy posted by yours truely

Wrong! (My opinion ) I've watched those tennis matches as well. For most balls, I agree, they do a better job than a human observer could. But I noticed that you said "almost", because there are cases where you can't tell. (The commentators run the footage backwards and forwards several times, and disagree with each other what the right call was.) That is why in tennis, you rule the ball "in", unless you clearly see it out.

(I remember reading a tennis magazine article, where they placed a ball about an inch from the line, and took pictures from around the court. The line-persons vantage point could see the ball out. All other viewpoints, including the chair umpire, player, and TV camera view, the ball looked good. And this was without ball compression.)

There is significant doubt for a 2mm difference in swimming... For cameras mounted overhead, water distortion will make it difficult see a difference that small. Also, do you count the fingernail, or the (soft) pad of your middle finger? It is also a touch pad, so a small amount of compression is needed to detect contact. One swimmer might have zero separation between their finger and the surface of the touch pad, but another swimmer (who touched 0.001 seconds later) who is moving faster could cause their pad to trigger first.

Just because the clock electronics can report times to a thousandth of a second (or smaller), does not indicate how reliable (repeatable) those measurements will be. posted by Mattson in reply to my last posting


Well I do respect your opinions Mattson (even though I disagree....as you do with mine)....so I will attempt to address all of your concerns the best I can:

First: As far as how existing timing systems work that "claim" to discern time differences as small as 0.001:......I don't know exactly how they work (and so in all honesty I can't say how efficient they really are)...i.e. they could be flawed for a number of reasons like some of the ones you mentioned above......I would hope that the touch pads for such a system are:

A) each of equal thickness to within as negligible amount possible so that even with small enough differences in thickness they will still be able to discern time differences on whatever scale they are designed for.

B) They have a "sensitive enough" activation system so that whenever "any" part of the body comes in remote contact with them (finger nails or finger pads) they register contact to within at least 0.0001 of a second of actual contact.

But like I said before, I don't know if these so called "super precision" timing systems have these features or not? If they are sensitive enough to touch as described in part B) ...Does that mean the wave of water your body carries along with it can set them off before actual body contact???

Secondly: I mentioned the "underwater" video timing system b/c I think I can understand that a little better (but maybe I'm fooling myself for thinking this?).....So first of all I don't know which engineers would design a video timing system for swimming that discerns times on a scale of 0.001 seconds that would put thier cameras above the water looking down from above???.....that seems a little rediculuous to me b/c of the obvious distortion problems.....I envision something more like this:

Each lane has an underwater super high speed (and super high resolution) video camera just beneath the touch pads looking up towards the surface of the water (at a "slight" inward angle so as to see the area where the swimmer touches the pad at the finish of the race with the best possible view ...whatever angle that is...which may be debatable I admit)......The cameras for all 8 lanes would be synchronized to one another to within at least 0.00001 seconds (which should be reasonable enough to accomplish)......then lets say the super high resolution cameras had a speed of around 30,000 frames per second (I supplied a link below to a website claiming to sell high speed cameras that take 33,000 frames per second....I think the ones used in pro tennis matches run at more like 100,000 frames per second but I can't swear on it.....there tennis balls are routinely traveling at over 130 mph off the serve and require much higher speed cameras than for objects traveling at the rates that swimmers travel at).....so these cameras currently on the market can take approximately 30 still shot pics per 0.001 seconds.....The cameras being underwater and in relatively clear water means that the effects of light defraction will be negligible b/c of the relatively short distance of about 18 inches from each camera to the surface of the water (according to "Snell's Law" ....you can do the math if you like) when discerning distances that are within around half a mm or so.......now the only problem when examining a particular still shot to see when one swimmer has made contact with the touch pad and another swimmer is still a very small distance from the touch pad would be things like detecting fingernails (which are relatively clear and hard to pick up even with a high degree of resolution) and the possibility that tiney air bubbles could block a clear view of the area where a swimmer is either in contact with the touch pad or a small distance away from the touch pad...(maybe several cameras from below can be positioned at different angles to get several competing views like in instant replay in the NFL to help overcome some of these problems??)......so maybe the system can never work???......Do we need such sophisticated timing systems anyway???.....It depends on things like whether or not people as a whole really care about "ties" and things like that....what if 4 of the 8 swimmers in a short race all have the exact same time to within 0.01 seconds sometime at a later Olympics?....Does anyone care if they all share the gold medal??....I know I don't care.....I'm just arguing that the technology for a timing system that is reliable enough and can discern times on a scale of 0.001 seconds is "feasable"...that's all!!


http://www.olympusindustrial.com/index.cfm/page/products.index.cfm/cid/1324/navid/185/parentid/1


newmastersswimmer

Phil Arcuni
December 13th, 2004, 11:27 PM
coming in late to this conversation, but there is no way (well, at a reasonable cost) a 50 m pool can be built that can guarantee that two different lanes are within 1 mm of each other. That is why races are decided to the nearest .01 second, not .001.

newmastersswimmer
December 14th, 2004, 08:45 AM
coming in late to this conversation, but there is no way (well, at a reasonable cost) a 50 m pool can be built that can guarantee that two different lanes are within 1 mm of each other. That is why races are decided to the nearest .01 second, not .001. originally posted by Phil Arcuni


That is a very good point......I think the reasoning for wanting timing systems with that kind of precision is to break the somewhat frequent ties that ocurr when the timing is only broken down to the 0.01 second mark. The problem is that in short races, this has a fairly high probability of occurring. Moreover, if the speculation that the elite swimmers will (and are) approaching some "limitting best possible time" asymptotically (as Lindsay put it) as the years progress, then the probability of multiple ties with the timing system broken down to only 0.01 seconds will increase over the years (or at least that's a theory based on the speculation of this thread).....Will people (fans) be willing to see all 8 swimmers in the Finals of the 50 meter freestyle in some later Olympics all share the gold medal for example?....(of course if that happens there's a high degree of probabilitythat at least two of the swimmers will also be within 0.001 seconds of one another??) ....totally hypothetical but not beyond reason.

newmastersswimmer

p.s. I think the underwater cameras I mentioned in my last posting would need to be a little deeper than 18 inches below the surface of the water also....(I wouldn't want anyone to cut thier feet on them while making a flip turn...ouch!!)

LindsayNB
December 14th, 2004, 10:32 AM
I'm not sure what the probability of a tie really is but I think the point stands that going to a higher precision doesn't solve the fundamental issue. If it turns out that too many ties are occurring the format of the race should be changed, either you eliminate the 50m race or you have a best of three (best time of three or best average or ...) or .... If you did ever get to the point where multiple competitors tied to within 0.01s the factors that led to one winning over another would be uninteresting, you might as well toss a coin.

newmastersswimmer
December 14th, 2004, 02:29 PM
I'm not sure what the probability of a tie really is but I think the point stands that going to a higher precision doesn't solve the fundamental issue. If it turns out that too many ties are occurring the format of the race should be changed, either you eliminate the 50m race or you have a best of three (best time of three or best average or ...) or .... If you did ever get to the point where multiple competitors tied to within 0.01s the factors that led to one winning over another would be uninteresting, you might as well toss a coin. originally posted by Lindsay



Well the probability of a tie could increase as the years go on if you beleive the theory that has been presented here that the world record times in any particular event are asymptotically approaching some mysterious "limitting time"........I definitely see your point though.....I still want to try and solve the puzzle of creating a timing system that has enough integrity and reliability to be able to give reasonably accurate times to the nearest 0.001 second....and solve every complaint about such a system I've been given on the board.....Why you might ask?....because I like challenges....I don't actually care one way or the other about whether or not something similar is actually ever used in a future Olympic Games......And I do agree with you that swim races in which many of the swimmers touch the wall at "virtually" the same time are a little boring to watch.....but I still think it is fun to try and see how to come up with a timing system that is "doable" enough...and reasonably affordable....just to see what is possible.....I hope I'm not annoying people too much though....I appreciate all the comments b/c they help me to realize the magnitude of engineering such a timing system with the right levels of reliability and integrity to be a relatively "meaningful" system for differentiating 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (in "most" situations) when the existing timing systems do not.


newmastersswimmer


p.s. I am working on a "refined" plan to my madness....just a warning!....sorry....I can't control the geeky dark side....it takes over and I must sucumb to it!!

Rob Copeland
December 14th, 2004, 03:54 PM
ďI still want to try and solve the puzzle of creating a timing system that has enough integrity and reliability to be able to give reasonably accurate times to the nearest 0.001 second.Ē

This already existsÖ current timing systems (Colorado, Omega, etc.) could as easily record/display times to 0.001 seconds of precision, in fact back in the 70ís they were timed to the 0.001th of a second. The world swimming community decided to only record times to 0.01th of a second.

As for the discussion about elite swimmers all approaching some mystical fastest time, you have a better chance of being struck by lightening or being eaten by sharks (see other forum posts on shark attacks for those odds), then you do of ever seeing an entire dead heat in a championship 50.

But back to this fastest time argument, what few people seem to be taking into account is the fact that records are not broken on any schedule some records stand for decades (Mary Tís fly or Bob Beamonís long jump) and many records from the 70ís 80ís and 90ís still stand. And arenít all our records already the fastest any human can swim? That is until someone breaks it.

newmastersswimmer
December 14th, 2004, 05:44 PM
This already existsÖ current timing systems (Colorado, Omega, etc.) could as easily record/display times to 0.001 seconds of precision, in fact back in the 70ís they were timed to the 0.001th of a second. The world swimming community decided to only record times to 0.01th of a second. originally posted by Rob Copeland


Yaeh, I know these systems already exist....we already acknowledged that ealier in the thread....the concern is about the integrity and reliability of these already existing systems...that's what I want to "try" to tackle (as insane as it may seem??).....Several issues have been brought up that sort of prove that such existing systems are (well a joke to put it midly).....One excellent reason for this was brought up by Phil Arcuni (sp??)....who pointed out the fact that microscopic variations in the lengths of one lane in comparison to another lane in the same pool (say on the order of a mm or so) kind of defeat the purpose of the entire timing system from the get go!......Another issue has to do with the fact that the entire touch pad activation system "most likely" has natural flaws in it....(See Mattson's excellent post on that issue)...these timing systems can only make "electronic" differentiations between two different registered times from the touch pads that differ by no less than 0.001 seconds....that is NO guarantee, however, that the activation system (via the touch pad) that registered the times actually registered the fastest swimmer first and the slower swimmer second.....on such small time and distance scales, small scale diffferences in how the two swimmers activated thier respective touch pads comes into play as well....these pads work on pressure sensitivity....what if the fingernail of a swimmer makes contact with a touch pad 0.001 seconds before the fleshy part of a finger of another swimmer makes contact with thier touch pad...BUT the swimmer hitting with the fleshy part of the finger registers first before the fingernail of the other swimmer registers?....on time scales on the order of 0.001 seconds, this is a natural problem don't you think?

But back to this fastest time argument, what few people seem to be taking into account is the fact that records are not broken on any schedule some records stand for decades (Mary Tís fly or Bob Beamonís long jump) and many records from the 70ís 80ís and 90ís still stand. And arenít all our records already the fastest any human can swim? That is until someone breaks it. also originally posted by Rob Copeland


That is a very good point in my opinion (about "lulls" and "spurts" in progress when it comes to breaking records)....I was thinking more on the grand scheme of long time intervals (like maybe even thousands of years from now perhaps??).....I personally don't think any atheletes in any sports that are "timed" (except maybe the 40 yard dash or something very short like that) have come anywhere near (in relative terms) to approaching any mythical "limitting time" in any event....(limitting based on pure "natural" ability as others have put it here). And we're not refering to the current fastest times here when we refer to this so called "limitting time"...(which I don't really believe exists anyway for any event IMHO) ....I believe they are referring to some "fastest humanly possible time" that can be potentially accomplished without using special genetic engineering and/or enhanced human specimans through some other technology like steroids and peformance enhanceing drugs....At least that is what I think they are referring to here??

newmastersswimmer

Rob Copeland
December 15th, 2004, 09:51 AM
Jim, I'll let you in on a dirty little secret about touch padsÖ Your right they donít record when the swimmer touches the pad. They are activated when sufficient pressure is applied to activate the mechanism. So the fastest swimmer, applying sufficient force to the pad is timed as finishing first, by the electronic timing systems. I donít have the technical specifications with me, but I can tell you that the manufacturers that I have dealt with (Omega and Colorado Timing) have exacting specifications for pad thickness and sensitivity, as well as timing console clock accuracy. So every swimming world record is slower by the amount of time needed to activate the pad, but every time is slower by that same timing delay.

And I disagree with the assumption that microscopic variations in the lengths of one lane in comparison to another lane in the same pool kind of defeat the purpose of the entire timing system. There are many factors that vary from pool to pool and lane to lane beyond exact lane length (starting block height/spring, wind speed, air temp, water temp, air quality, water current, chemicals in the water, pool depth, lane line tension, gutter type, wall design and materials, lighting Ö). FINA and swimming national governing bodies have established standards to address many of these, however the reality is that no two lanes are exactly alike and even for a given lane the conditions change from heat to heat and even within a heat. But so what, just because no two baseballs are exactly alike does this defeat the purpose of baseball?

And while "fastest humanly possible time" is a wonderful cocktail party or discussion forum topic, it presupposes the event of a genetically perfectly individual, perfectly trained from birth (or earlier), at the peak of their career, with perfect technique maintained for every nanosecond of the race, with a perfect taper, a perfectly timed start, in an absolutely perfect pool with a perfectly fast suit, expending every ounce of energy, etc. It also presupposes that no one will be able to learn from this person and figure out a better way. Based on these presuppositions, I would agree there is a fastest humanly possible time, but without more sophisticated modeling there is no way to exactly peg this time. I remember back in the day, when the experts stated absolutely that 15:00 was the absolute fastest time for the 1500M. Well, they missed that one.

So with that, Iíll state unequivocally, that the fastest humanly possible time in the 50 Yard Free is 17.760704 seconds!

Leonard Jansen
December 15th, 2004, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by Rob Copeland

So with that, Iíll state unequivocally, that the fastest humanly possible time in the 50 Yard Free is 17.760704 seconds!

Nonsense.

Everyone knows it's 17.760703998. Honestly, some people's kids...

-LBJ

mattson
December 15th, 2004, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by Rob Copeland
They are activated when sufficient pressure is applied to activate the mechanism.

That would imply that kung-fu masters have an advantage over the rest of us. I'm thinking about those action movies, where the guy can wave his arms, and set up an air shock-wave that blows out a candle from across the room. Seems like this same dude could probably focus a strong enough water wave to trip the touch pad (without touching it). :D

From a discussion with Jim, timing gets even more complicated once you approach hypothetical limits. Special relativity tells us that simultaneity depends on your reference frame. It would be possible for observer A to see 1 happen before 2, and observer B to see 2 happen before 1. That would really mess up the swim standings! (The fact that observers A and B are traveling at near light speeds in opposite directions, is a minor technicality. ;) )

Leonard Jansen
December 15th, 2004, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by mattson
From a discussion with Jim, timing gets even more complicated once you approach hypothetical limits. Special relativity tells us that simultaneity depends on your reference frame. It would be possible for observer A to see 1 happen before 2, and observer B to see 2 happen before 1. That would really mess up the swim standings! (The fact that observers A and B are traveling at near light speeds in opposite directions, is a minor technicality. ;) )

However, keep in mind that in the quantum physics world, space and time both seem to have a granularity. The implication is that at a certain level, both space and time are meaningless. Hence, measuring same is meaningless/impossible.

Thank God for physics and math. If we didn't have them, things might make sense.

-LBJ

newmastersswimmer
December 15th, 2004, 06:17 PM
And I disagree with the assumption that microscopic variations in the lengths of one lane in comparison to another lane in the same pool kind of defeat the purpose of the entire timing system. There are many factors that vary from pool to pool and lane to lane beyond exact lane length (starting block height/spring, wind speed, air temp, water temp, air quality, water current, chemicals in the water, pool depth, lane line tension, gutter type, wall design and materials, lighting Ö). FINA and swimming national governing bodies have established standards to address many of these, however the reality is that no two lanes are exactly alike and even for a given lane the conditions change from heat to heat and even within a heat. But so what, just because no two baseballs are exactly alike does this defeat the purpose of baseball? originally posted by Rob Copeland


Lets foucus on the "No two lanes are "exactly" alike" part of your quote above first:.....I'm not trying to create two lanes that are "exactly" alike.....I'm trying to create conditions that are reasonable on a "comparatively realtive" scale to the timing system I have in mind (Do you see the difference?).....Believe me, trying for "exact" is FAR beyond what is necessary here IMHO....I'm Not even taking into consideration anything that affects the outcome of a race that is considered "negligible" on a scale that is comparable to a scale that is compatible to the scales for the timing system I am proposing for example......So I think I'm not making myself clear enough or something perhaps??....What I am trying to say (and prove) is that it is possible to create an environment that is "exact enough" for the timing system I have in mind to have what I believe is sufficient reliability and integrity.

I think the point is that while we can't control all the factors in any given race, ...None-the-less, "IF" we want to use timing systems that discern times that differ by as little as 0.001, then (for example) distance variation from lane to lane (on a "relevant" distance scale to the degree of accuracy desired by the system) "should" be an important factor for the system to have any "sufficient integrity"...(IMHO only of course!!)...It has already been calculated here by Knelson that at a constant race speed of 22 seconds per 50 meters (which is kinda arbitrary I admit...but as good as any other constant rate I suppose for the sake of this argument) one can travel approximately 2 mm in 0.001 seconds.....therefore if we want a precision timing system that registers times on the order of 0.001 seconds, then it seems reasonable to expect that the length of each lane (wall to wall) should be within a maximum distance of 1 mm apart from one another (actually I was thinking that 0.01 mm is a better criteria here) ....and YES, I also believe that the starting blocks also have to be engineered so that each block meets some minimal consistency criteria based on a lot of different things....so that one cannot argue that the small differences in the starting blocks (like one having a "significantly" higher amount of "spring" over another) can account for a "distance advantage" for one swimmer over another that can account for more than 1 mm ....(yaeh so pretty absurd in a way)...Also each starting block should also be positioned so that maximum variation in distance from each starting block to the opposite wall among starting blocks is also within a "sufficient range" lets say. To control wind and temperature and waves..etc....I would first suggest using an "indoor" facility (if you want to use this kind of timing system that I have in mind of course)....In track and field competitions, outdoor times are not counted as official (in terms of setting records) if the conditions (such as wind for example) do not meet some pre-specified criteria....Seems reasonable enough to overcome some of those obstacles by having the swim meet in an indoor facility (also this only makes sense for me if the meet had some "special significance" anyway ...such as the Olympics....This was the kind of meet I had in mind for a timing system like the one I am thinking about anyway).....I have "MANY " more ideas about controlling all kinds of other factors that you may also consider totally absurd ....and I will reveal them "all " in a long word document later...and leave you a link to it when it's done if you like? ......Together with my "semi"-detailed plan for how to deal with all of them to produce what I consider (and the "I consider" is important to note here!!) to be a timing system that has enough integrity and reliability to be worthy of distinguishing time differences as small as 0.001.....Do I really hope to see something like this put into practice?.....Not really.....I am just looking at it kind of like a math problem (semi-hypothetical) but still feasible and able to meet these insane requirements I have put forth as my set of minimal standards for such a system. We can't control all factors BUT (and now the "important point" ) we should attempt to control those factors that are "possible to control" (to within some degree of reliability) as best we can (IMHO) that "can" make a difference that is on a "compatible scale" with the system...(such as using distances of 1mm (or 0.01 mm), as guidelines for things like camera resolution, lane lenghts ..etc...since that's the distance scale that is "relevant" here)....Do you now kinda see my point (I hope)???


So every swimming world record is slower by the amount of time needed to activate the pad, but every time is slower by that same timing delay.

I simply refuse to believe that no matter what the manufacturer says.....I do not believe that a pressure activated system is reliable enough to be able to always accurately differentiate one swimmer that actually "makes contact" in any way with the touch pad before another swimmer does when the time difference between the two swimmers is on the order of 0.001 seconds....why....I already addressed that and I don't think it's necessary to go back over the argument...see Mattson's comments and mine on the subject if you like.
See my modified reply to this comment below for my "editted reply"

newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
December 15th, 2004, 06:50 PM
From a discussion with Jim, timing gets even more complicated once you approach hypothetical limits. Special relativity tells us that simultaneity depends on your reference frame. It would be possible for observer A to see 1 happen before 2, and observer B to see 2 happen before 1. That would really mess up the swim standings! (The fact that observers A and B are traveling at near light speeds in opposite directions, is a minor technicality. ) originally posted by Mattson


Not to mention the fact that from ANY "fixed" perspective (as opposed to competing relative perspectives) you still have other barriers like Hiesenberg's Uncertainty Principle when you start moving into the time and distance scales that approach "quantum scales" (which is where relativity theory breaks down anyway in terms of being "compatible" with the laws of quantum mechanics)....But the point is (as Mattson puts it also)....The scales at which relativistic effects or quantum mechanical effects that create obstacles to precise measurement are WAY beyond the kind of scales that are relevent (no pun intended) to the kinds of timing systems that we are discussing here....i.e. the relativity thoery (and quantum mechanics related) postings here were (of course) only meant as jokes (just in case someone might not realize that...which I doubt....you guys all seem pretty intelligent to me anyway)


newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
December 15th, 2004, 07:14 PM
And while "fastest humanly possible time" is a wonderful cocktail party or discussion forum topic, it presupposes the event of a genetically perfectly individual, perfectly trained from birth (or earlier), at the peak of their career, with perfect technique maintained for every nanosecond of the race, with a perfect taper, a perfectly timed start, in an absolutely perfect pool with a perfectly fast suit, expending every ounce of energy, etc. It also presupposes that no one will be able to learn from this person and figure out a better way. Based on these presuppositions, I would agree there is a fastest humanly possible time, but without more sophisticated modeling there is no way to exactly peg this time. I remember back in the day, when the experts stated absolutely that 15:00 was the absolute fastest time for the 1500M. Well, they missed that one. originally posted by Rob Copeland


Hey I TOTALLY agree with you on this one o.k.....that's why I was very careful in my prior postings to say ""IF" you believe in the speculation that was given by others on this thread" (followed by my personal disbelief in it) ...whenever I addressed this issue....So for example, (in response to something else you said in an earlier posting)...when you said that I am more likely to be struck by lightening than see a dead heat in the 50 meter freestyle (to within 0.01 seconds).....I want you to know that I am not claiming the contrary.....What I said there was "IF" you believe that over the years (and that may mean " A LOT" of years here) that the fastest times posted by the "elite" swimmers in a particular event are approaching some "mythical" limit "asymptotically" (and the word "asymptotically" is very important here).....then in some far distant future (where elite swimmers are very unlikely to make any "significant" mistakes in a 50 meter freestyle that would account for a time loss of more than 0.001 seconds) that the probability of a dead heat occuring in the 50 meter freestyle at the Olympics (where the timing system works on a 0.01 second scale) may be around 0.999!!..........But then again I don't believe in the whole asymptotic approach over time to a limit of some kind.......In math you base your conclusions on your assumptions....if the assumptions are absurd, then the conclusions can be even more absurd!!


newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
December 16th, 2004, 10:13 AM
So every swimming world record is slower by the amount of time needed to activate the pad, but every time is slower by that same timing delay Originally posted by Rob Copeland


After re-reading this comment of yours I think I realize now that I misinterpreted what you meant there (I think anyway?)....If your saying that the time necessary for the electronics to register a time after the sufficient amount of pressure needed to activate the touch pad has been accomplished is the same for everyone??...well yes, isn't that completely obvious??....Both Mattson and I already made that point in earlier postings in fact......I was interpreting that statement as saying that the microscopic time delay associated to some pre-set minimal pressure level for a touch pad will be "almost" exactly the same from one touch pad to the next....thus a statement that each touchpad registers (i.e. activates tha electronics within the system) when "almost" the exact same amount of pressure is applied to it from one touch pad to the next ...that's what I am skeptical about.......


newmastersswimmer

LindsayNB
December 16th, 2004, 10:28 AM
None-the-less, "IF" we want to use timing systems that discern times that differ by as little as 0.001, then...

I think this is the first non-universally shared assumption.

As to whether you can construct an environment that is sufficiently controlled as to make a difference of one or two millimeters non-random, consider water currents, if the average speed of the water in two lanes differs by more than 1mm per 20s (0.05mm/s) then one swimmer will have a 1mm advantage over the other. I doubt that it is practical to control the water currents in a 50m pool so as to eliminate such an advantage.

Leonard Jansen
December 16th, 2004, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
[B]
thus a statement that each touchpad registers (i.e. activates tha electronics within the system) when "almost" the exact same amount of pressure is applied to it from one touch pad to the next ...that's what I am skeptical about.......


This is really nothing more than how precise (NOT accurate) two systems can be made. If we assume that current systems are precise WRT each other at the current level of 0.01 seconds, then real real question is what is the feasibility of creating devices that are a full order of magnitude of precision greater than a current level. There are three possibilities:
1) Given the current technology, the inherent precision is greater than that being used and adequate for an order of magnitude improvement but is not being used because the rules do not require it. The cost to build the new device with 10x precision, therefore, is fairly low (probably a new timing chip and display changes).
2) Given the current technology, the inherent precision is greater than that being used and inadequate for an order of magnitude improvement. Cost for this change is high, since it will have to be re-engineered. The hope is that incremental changes will get it to the desired level to keep the cost down. If incremental changes won't work, then you basically end up with case 3.
3) Given the current technology, the inherent precision is maxed out at its current usage level and (obviously) inadequate for an order of magnitude improvement. Cost for this change is extremely high, since it will have to be re-engineered from the ground up.

If we can make the devices precise, it is trivial to make them accurate at the 0.001 level since 0.001 timing accuracy is worse than a $5.00 K-Mart watch.

I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but in the 2000 Olympics, if there had been 0.001 sec precise timing, who would have won the 50m free? Hall or (forgot his name)?

-LBJ

Rob Copeland
December 16th, 2004, 11:02 AM
Why is it, when I envision this futuristic dead heat, I see 8 clones out of Aldous Huxleyís Brave New World, swimming as one in complete synchronicity?

Another solution to the conundrum, instead of increasing timing accuracy to .001, would be to ban shorter events that would possibly have extreme ties to the 0.01. If we got rid of 50ís and 100ís and added 400ís of each stroke and the 5000 free, the possibility of a dead heat would be greatly diminished. And as the 200ís approached dead heatedness we could drop the 200ís and add 800ís. Iíd love to see Ian Crockerís great-grandson race Michael Phelpsí great-grandson in the 800 butterfly in the 2096 Olympics.

Community, Identity, Stability!

And to Jimís skepticism about ďwhen "almost" the exact same amount of pressure is applied to it from one touch pad to the nextĒ, contact the vendors Iím sure they will gladly provide their specifications. My problem has always been that the amount of pressure needed to trip the pad requires a commitment to smash your finger tips into the pad or accept the additional time it takes for the palm to exert enough pressure. I used to swim with a couple of sprinters who would sometimes break or severely jam fingers with time saving finger tip plunges into a wall. I, as a distance guy, was content with the extra time penalty associated with saving my fingers.

You may also want to look into Omega Timingís use of video and electronic timing in the 1967 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg. They may have some information that is useful in your quest to design a more accurate timing system.

And Leonard, whatís his name was Anthony Ervin.

newmastersswimmer
December 16th, 2004, 01:52 PM
As to whether you can construct an environment that is sufficiently controlled as to make a difference of one or two millimeters non-random, consider water currents, if the average speed of the water in two lanes differs by more than 1mm per 20s (0.05mm/s) then one swimmer will have a 1mm advantage over the other. I doubt that it is practical to control the water currents in a 50m pool so as to eliminate such an advantage. originally posted by Lindsay


Oh believe me I am considering it.....(to within some reasonable degree of course).......You see I am looking at two completely separate issues to guide my madness here....the first is "sufficient integrity"....this has to do with trying to control factors like the one you mentioned above (together with pool length variations from lane to lane, starting blocks, starting system with speakers directly behind each block, and other factors too that I think are "relevant" to the appropriate scales involved for this kind of timing system). Other factors (such as possible chlorine density variations from lane to lane...or minute temperature fluctuations from lane to lane ...etc...) I will either declare as "negligible" factors...or I will claim that any combination of these remaining factors that could somehow effect a swimmers race in a "relevant" way for this type of timing system all get "canceled out in the wash" since I claim that any positive or negative cumulative effect by some combination of those factors has an equal likli-hood of effecting any given swimmer one way or the other.....then this will be my "totally insane" criteria for "sufficient integrity"

Then the second issue has to do with "reliability"...So putting all integrity issues aside, how reliable will my envisioned timing system be at distinguishing swimmers times (and hences places) within a single heat if the time differences are no smaller than 0.001 seconds.....I have modified my other posting on my underwater video timing system to attack this issue. I have supplied a link below for the kind of cameras I might use for this......As you yourself pointed out, it's about a combination of BOTH Sufficiently High Resolution AND Sufficiently High Speed here.....my prior link was for a camera that was only guaranteed to meet the latter requirement (it 's all about mega pixels per second then!!).....The cameras in the link I provided claim to take 10,000 frames per second (so 10 still shots in 0.001 seconds) and with a resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels per frame.....So that way the individual still shots can be blown up enough to clearly see a gap of 1 mm.....To fix the problem of tiney air bubbles possibly obstructing the view, (and detecting fingernails) ...I have several ideas.....one is to use 3 cameras per lane (one to the left below, one in the center below, and one to the right below).....also each swimmer would dip the tips of thier fingures in a temporary dye to make fingernails more visible before each race (with enough time for the waterproof dye to dry sufficiently)....then they would place thier hands in a picture box at the blocks momentarily before the race so that multiple high resolution pictures of thier hands can be recorded from multiple angles...I think you can see where I'm going with this I hope....A "safe" non-toxic solvent will be provided to remove the dye shortly after each race.....As far as the integrity issue goes, I have fairly detailed methods in mind to address each of those issues...Lets just say (for now) that my pool length issue wioll involve a highly elaborate way of modifying an already existing pool (by a method that is at least partially motivated by the current method of re-sleeving a cylinder inside a piston driven automobile engine.....but on a much grander scale)....Here lasers and sonar equipment, and much more will be involved...I will release the full scale plan sometime soon (I have to finish reporting my final grades for the semester for now)....Yes I am a nutjob to the extreme by the way.....I already know this so there is no need to further explain.

Oh yeah (one other thing)....An Already existing Sensory Touchpad system will provide "temporary" unofficial times while the more sophisticated video system can be properly analyzed after each race...then later the "official" times and places will be made known.

http://www.fastcamreplay.com/products/MotionPro.htm


newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
December 16th, 2004, 02:37 PM
Another solution to the conundrum, instead of increasing timing accuracy to .001, would be to ban shorter events that would possibly have extreme ties to the 0.01. If we got rid of 50ís and 100ís and added 400ís of each stroke and the 5000 free, the possibility of a dead heat would be greatly diminished. And as the 200ís approached dead heatedness we could drop the 200ís and add 800ís. Iíd love to see Ian Crockerís great-grandson race Michael Phelpsí great-grandson in the 800 butterfly in the 2096 Olympics. originally posted by Rob Copeland


Sounds like a great idea......maybe even a 5000 meter butterfly......But eventually (thousands and thousands of years from now) we will have 8 clones from the Brave new world all swimming in such sychronization that (unfortuantely) we will still get our dead heat ...(only joking of course!!)......They will all be clones of Phelps' Great Great Great........Great Grandson Micheal Phelps the XXXXXXXXX......XXX....II perhaps!! LOL

There the limitting time is clearly around 46: 28.10789567306 (roughly speaking of course!!)


newmastersswimmer

ande
May 12th, 2005, 04:04 PM
Thought I'd resurrect this old post
the world will never know

Who would have thought someone would beat the mens 50 y free record by 0.3?

probably every current record can improve by at least .3 per 50
some records are currently beatable, it's just that the swimmer hasn't swum in a meet, tapered shaved ...

like Ian Crockers 44.5 100 y fly.
his 50.7 LCM 100 fly is a much faster time
under the right conditions Ian could probably go 43.99 or better in the 100 y fly

some records are harder to beat than others and may stay on the books for a long time. It took a long time for someone to beat Mary T's 200 fly.

Natalie Coughlins 100 y back and 100 fly times will be very hard to beat

If you include age group records,
in 1976 as a 14 year old jesse vassallo went 15:31 in the 1500 meter free and that record still stands nearly 30 years later.

Then if you look at masters swimming, as some of the younger faster whipper snappers age up, records will fall.

Maybe the US should begin a champion swimmer breeding program.

Ande


Originally posted by SwiminONandON
This is something I have been thinking about since the Olympics... at what point will it not be possible for human beings to swim or run any faster. There has to be a point where the human body just can't go any faster, no matter how much you train, what kind of things you put into your body (legal or not), etc. I mean it isn't possible to swim a 400 IM, for example, in 2 seconds (at least I don't think it ever will be) so where does it end? And when will that happen?