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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
A Physics of Rock climbing course
jacq
7/01/2011
10:56:00 PM
Has anyone here had a go at this course at MIT? They have an awful lot of free uni courses online (you don't get the piece of paper of course) but I did think this one might be a fun way of studying physics...

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/special-programs/sp-255-physics-of-rock-climbing-spring-2006/index.htm
hargs
8/01/2011
3:39:43 AM
Interesting that the photo used for a course at MIT is a climber falling off Mt Arapiles. I wonder if the lecturer is an Aussie, or a US climber who visited, or if it's just random?
egosan
8/01/2011
8:11:42 AM
Read the caption, Hargs.

"A climber on Mt. Arapiles in Australia. (Image courtesy of flickr.com, as posted by adski.)"

tmarsh
8/01/2011
10:17:38 AM
Route? Looks like something on Central Gully Left Side.
Wendy
8/01/2011
10:25:09 AM
Squeakeasy
hargs
8/01/2011
1:38:13 PM
On 8/01/2011 egosan wrote:
>Read the caption, Hargs.
>
>"A climber on Mt. Arapiles in Australia. (Image courtesy of flickr.com,
>as posted by adski.)"

So I read the caption and I'm none the wiser. Who is this adski? He's currently in Newcastle, according to his Flickr profile. He's on here too, or he used to be, according to my Google 101 sleuthing. But what, if anything, does adski have to do with this MIT course? It's sunny now and I've been slacklining on the beach so I care a lot less than I did at 3:30 this morning when I couldn't sleep. Still, now I've asked the question...

Captain Mulch grade thread hijack: Awesome potential for a slackline over the water at the baths at Gunamatta Bay. Lightpole on the jetty at one end and about 12-15 metres to a massive pile out in the water at the other. Easy to rig at high tide, gets more and more interesting throughout the day.
jacq
8/01/2011
2:55:32 PM
On 8/01/2011 hargs wrote:

But what, if anything,
>does adski have to do with this MIT course? It's sunny now and I've been
>slacklining on the beach so I care a lot less than I did at 3:30 this morning
>when I couldn't sleep. Still, now I've asked the question...
>

I suspect the physics nerds at MIT wanted a cool pic to go with their course, and one that higlighted the sorts of things that can happen when climbing that made you want physics on YOUR side! ;P
egosan
8/01/2011
9:57:28 PM
On 8/01/2011 hargs wrote:

>So I read the caption and I'm none the wiser. Who is this adski? He's
>currently in Newcastle, according to his Flickr profile. He's on here too,
>or he used to be, according to my Google 101 sleuthing.

Now I am mocking you hargs:

Ask adski, yourself.
http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=Profile&UserName=adski



Richard
9/01/2011
12:00:47 PM
Course Description
SP.255 is a lecture, discussion, and project based seminar about the physics of rock climbing. Participants are first exposed to the unsolved problems in the climbing community that could be answered by research and then asked to solve a small part of one of these problems. The seminar provides an introduction to engineering problems, an opportunity to practice communication skills, and a brief stab at doing some research. This seminar explicitly does not include climbing instruction nor is climbing/mountaineering experience a prerequisite.

strange..I would have thougt the "physics" of rock climbing should be about how a climbers body uses and maximises the muslce-skelton contruction (anatomy) of a human to minimise the power/strength needed to climb. i.e how physics of human anatomy are exploited. Maybe the wording "Participants are first exposed to the unsolved problems in the climbing community that could be answered by research and then asked to solve a small part of one of these problems" does not imly this sort of content. I 'd be much more interested in who the instructor is, and what;s he's trying to teach, than who took the pic. How does communication be a part of a physics topic??

(And how can you actualy learn somthing about rock climbing physics if you never done it.. given experince is not required. makes we wonder what real value would exist in an academic course for a climber..)

I really wonder if this course really covers any thing that could be described as physics.

Cheers...
jacq
9/01/2011
2:12:47 PM
If you have a dig around you'll see what sorts of things you can do - some nice open ended projects that you can choose to do - in teams if you want to! This is an overview:

"Research projects are open ended and students are encouraged to determine their own project. Projects are clearly limited by the scope of the seminar (6 units) and the availability of resources and funding. Nonetheless, there are many options: modeling of climbing systems (spread sheet, analytical models, finite element models), climber/physics education and curriculum development, simple experiments, climber psychology and habits survey, new equipment design/equipment improvement, and instrumentation for measurement of climbing systems. Students may work together or independently on projects according to the project scope and student inclination."

On this page you'll get an overview of the syllabus: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/special-programs/sp-255-physics-of-rock-climbing-spring-2006/syllabus/

I thought it looked really interesting...
Duncan
9/01/2011
2:55:12 PM
"As taught in: Spring 2006"

Sounds like it wasn't a hit with the kids.
martym
10/01/2011
5:32:10 AM
On 9/01/2011 Richard wrote:
>I 'd be much more
>interested in who the instructor is, and what;s he's trying to teach, than
>who took the pic. How does communication be a part of a physics topic??
>

Here's your man:

David Custer is a lecturer in the Experimental Study Group, which since 1968 has tried out innovative ways of teaching MIT's core curriculum to 50 freshmen each year.

Looks like it questions some of the stuff Mikl's been testing/posting about:
- Mechanics: Fall Arrest, Force and Energy, The Wexler Equation, Equipment Ratings, Next Steps: EAS, Belay Devices, Better Models of Rope Performance
- Material Properties: Ice, Corrosion, Fatigue
- Innovation: Cam Development, Geometry and Implications
- Human Factors and Safety Systems Analysis
- Physiology: My Background in this Topic is Weak, But Students May have the Expertise to Address this Topic - there's your topic Richard
- Standardization: Landscape, Effects, Next Steps

Eduardo Slabofvic
10/01/2011
12:03:44 PM
On 9/01/2011 Richard wrote:
>Participants are first exposed to the unsolved problems
>in the climbing community that could be answered by research

Psychiatry or social work, but definiely not physics
widewetandslippery
10/01/2011
12:15:33 PM
On 10/01/2011 Eduardo Slabofvic. wrote:
>On 9/01/2011 Richard wrote:
>>Participants are first exposed to the unsolved problems
>>in the climbing community that could be answered by research
>
>Psychiatry or social work, but definiely not physics

Or in Nati: Animal Husbandry

Richard
10/01/2011
1:48:44 PM
OK, also found this:

Three major student projects were undertaken:

1. A model of the propensity for a karabiner gate to open due to transverse oscillation of the rope during fall arrest. (PDF - 1.4 MB) (Courtesy of Philippe Bertreau and Christopher Pipe. Used with permission.)
2. A measurement of the propensity for a karabiner gate to open due to transverse oscillation of the rope during fall arrest.
3. An investigation of the change in tensile strength and elasticity of nylon fibers subjected to rope marking ink.

Those are also clearly physics - there overall blurb seems missleading then (but the title more apt) given what the details of the syllabus indicate.
So it looks like it covers hardware physics (and maybe abit of metalurgy thrown in).

Cheers...

There are 15 messages in this topic.

 

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