Can You Survive A Falling Elevator If You Jump?


You are inside an elevator, and all of a sudden you hear how the rope breaks, the elevator safety isn’t working, you are in a free fall caught in the elevator. There is no chance that you could survive this! Or is it!? What if jump, just before the elevator hits the ground? Could this save you? And what would happen if you jump too early? Subscribe and hit the bell for more science videos! Our experience with jumping suggests us that we go up when we jump, but when you but when you jump in a fast falling elevator, you wouldn’t really go up you would just decrease your falling speed So the real question is, is this decrease enough to survive? First, let’s see what are dangerous impact velocities when you fall on a hard surface, of course not on your head based on NASA acceleration studies with a fall speeds of up to 12 m/s which you reach after a free fall of 7.4 m you would survive with a high probability with a speed between 12 and 17 m/s you still could survive but you may die as well while for fall speeds above 17 m/s which you would reach after a free fall of 15 m it is almost certain that you would not survive An average person can jump vertically at maximum between 60 and 70 cm which corresponds with a jumping speed of 3 to 4 m/s even extreme athlete could jump at maximum with around 5 m/s To reduce your fall speed close to your jump speed the mass of the elevator must be much larger than yours otherwise it would take a significant amount of the momentum and so the speed reduce would be smaller with all this in mind in some specific cases you could theoretically reduce your fall speed form a dangerous to a safer one for example if the elevator falls from a height of 12 m near the ground it would have a critical speed of around 15 m/s and if you are extremely lucky you could reduce your fall speed to more safe 11 m/s and so have a higher chance to survive However, this is really a borderline case for greater heights this could not really help and even if jumping could help there still remains a huge problem there is no way to know when you are close to the ground and when is the perfect moment to jump, especially being under panic But what if you jump too early? In a free falling elevator you would be in a state of weightlessness because of this you would actually hit the elevator ceiling with a speed equal to your jumping speed with respect to the elevator and probably stay there until the ground when you would hit the floor Luckily for us, elevators are remarkably safe they have multiple ropes and safety brakes which makes accidents extremely rare The number of deaths related to elevator accidents in the US is around 30 deaths a year and most of them are Deaths Involving Work In or Near Elevators And how to better end this video then with this funny note from a Sarajevo elevator on which stands: Attention!!! Please, when you are entering the elevator take care whether the elevator cab is there Please subscribe and leav a like and don’t jump raider read the notes

6 thoughts on “Can You Survive A Falling Elevator If You Jump?

  1. Please leave a like on the video it helps a lot and if you want more science videos don't forget to subscribe 😁

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwrNGzJr7Vz6du3HFFd6jXw?sub_confirmation=1

    I had quite some problems while making this video, my sound card died so I had to use a cheap usb card that is too quiet for my usual microphone so the sound is not the best 🙁 but I hope it's not too bad at least I have a pop filter now lol 😛

  2. I think the overall point is humans can survive falls from a certain height, regardless of whether you're in an elevator or not. Adding the elevator condition just makes this silly for the reasons he mentions at the end of the vid…..you don't know when you'll hit the ground. Another problem with this scenario is that when the cable breaks you're in free fall and become "weightless", the same sensation of being in orbit around the Earth. In this condition I imagine it would be difficult to even position yourself to be able to jump off the floor, like, how would you move yourself without touching something else in the elevator to provide an "equal and opposite force". In free fall, even if you stood still, squatting would not lower your c.g. closer to the floor, you would ball up above the floor. So this seems like a half baked idea. What am I missing?

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