Does it take more effort to swim in the deep end of a pool than the shallow end?
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Down in the deep...
Asked by: Kevin Ward, Stroud
When swimming, water generates drag forces from three sources: friction from the ‘stickiness’ of water, waves created on the surface, and resistance to pushing through the water. Unless the water is so shallow that the chest of the swimmer takes up a sizeable fraction of the total depth, these sources of drag are the same for shallow or deep water, so that swimming will require the same amount of effort.
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Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.
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