# Effect of Body Mass and Cord Length on Bungee Jump Motion

Oct 29, 2022

## Effect of Body Mass and Cord Length on Bungee Jump Motion

This essay investigates a body’s motion during a bungee jump in order to answer the question: “To what extent a body’s mass and length of the cord affect the Bungee jumping motion?” the investigation takes place with comparing three different bungee cords ‘s performance in two simulation laboratory experiments. The first is to check the relation between the bungee jumping cord and its relation to Hooke’s law and finding its elastic limit. The second is to inspect the motion in terms of velocity and acceleration changes with varying the weight of the body attached to the cord and changing the length of the cord, since they are the factors to be considered in the research question.

## Scope of work

The vine jumpers of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu inspired the spot of Bungee jumping, as it was viewed by way of a rite of passage to manhood. It is about jumping from a high point such as a bridge, a building or a crane attached to nylon braided, rubber shock cord. It is from a fixed structure most of the time but it is possible to do it from an object floating in the air, for example, a moving crane or a hot air balloon. It became a popular sport the last two decades in the United States of America where people do it for the sake of the excitement and adrenaline pumping sensations. Of course this sport involves a lot of risk and most of the accidents occurring are from miscalculations in the length of the elastic cord, which leads to many horrifying accident when people end up landing on the surface or the cord collapses, it occurred to my mind that exploring such a occurrence might be very interesting.

In this essay I aim to look at the physics behind Bungee Jumping. The aim of this essay is to investigate the factors affecting the bungee jump motion. I will be exploring the stages that the bungee jump goes through and the factors affecting it allowing a safe landing but exciting at the same time. This involves data logging from laboratory experiments and graphing data with analysis. Exploring this matter can easily make connections between fundamental concepts of physics and real world phenomena: Bungee Jumping. Therefore attempting to answer, “To what extent a body’s mass and length of the cord affect the Bungee jumping motion?”

## Safety of Bungee jumping

There is no doubt that a thrilling from a height usually more than forty-five meters carries its own risk and can be very dangerous, Bungee jumping is like most adrenaline pumping sports, when done wrong, can be hazardous and even lethal.

Bungee jumping mishaps can occur because of faulty equipment or regardless of safety measures, the injuries that could have been avoided are human errors when the body strapping fails due to improper attachment or flawed harness, Chris Thomas is an example of this horrible incident, he died during a charity jump in Swansea, Wales: because of his weight[1]. Another case is cord length miscalculation and the jumper ends up hitting the ground or the bungee cord just snapped, similarly to what happened to Erin Langworthy, an Australian woman who almost drowned with her feet tied together in Zambezi River at Victoria Falls[2]. In 1989, this activity was banned in France and one state in Australia after three people faced their death[3]. And many other incidents causing people to collapse on concrete and suffer from extreme cranial trauma or even die because the rope was too long, that actually happened to Matthew E. Coleman[4], who died at an Adventure World bungee jump.

However, unavoidable injuries might occur, minor injuries such as skin burn, which is triggered through gripping the cord, happen when Bungee jumpers do not act accordingly to the guidelines given. Some of them stated that they got slapped in the face by the cord.

Other mores serious injuries; such as eyesight damage or temporary retina haemorrhage[5], strokes and traumatic carotid artery dissection happened to fit and healthy youth.

But injury inflicted by the cord, such as choking to asphyxiation, appears not to happen. This can be explained by a combination of factors, including the cord’s minimal torsional stiffness. Also, the minor pendulum motion keeps the cord from contacting the jumper and tangling or strangling him,

No modern-day jump site has seen any serious entanglement, and it is noteworthy that many participants enjoy somersaulting during the free fall without any harm or disaster occurring.

## Principle components in the physics of Bungee jumping

To allow the bungee jumping motion to occur the person jumps from a high surface and the cord stretches as he is moving downwards, this demonstrates the cords’ elasticity, which can be defined as the ability of a body or the cord, in this case, to oppose a force exerted on it and change shape and size and to return to its same characteristics when the strain is removed.

The law of elasticity, Hooke’s law, determined by Robert Hooke, an English scientist in 1660, which states that, for relatively small deformations of an object, the displacement or size of the extension is directly proportional to the deforming force applied.

Under these conditions the object returns to its original shape and size upon removal of the load.

If the force exerted exceeds a certain amount, known as the elastic limit, it would create a permanent deformation to the body even when there is no force applied on the body. The elastic limit differs from a body to another because both of the resistance to stress and it depends on what the body is made of. Elastic materials expand thinner and thinner until rupturing at their breaking point.

The strength of materials is the measurement of a body’s capacity to bear strain and stress. Stress is the internal force applied by a segment of an elastic body upon the connecting part and strain is the dimension’s deformation caused by stress. Elastic materials are the materials whose stress disappears after the exerted force is removed.

In bungee jumping the cord is subjected to pull, this is identified as tension. When the cord has weight attached and it is being pushed, this is known as a compressive stress. During the jump, the external forces twist the body around an axis, it is known as the torsional stress.

## Experiment 1: Hooke’s Law

This experiment is carried out to calculate the elasticity of the bungee cord and its elastic limit.

## Variables

• Independent variables:
• Dependent variable:
• Control variable:

The same bungee cord used for different weights

Shape of the weight used

Height of the cord from the ground

## Apparatus Used

Since the Hooke’s law experiment apparatus is usually equipped with a retort stand, which is a stand that has a ruler and a pointer attached to the spring, but since I am using a bungee cord instead of the spring, I used a regular clamp and I had seven different masses labeled 0.1 kg, a digital measuring scale with 0.01 kg uncertainty, three different car bungee cords purchased at the local hardware shop, a ruler0.0005m and a flat surface to perform the experiment on.

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## Method

First of all, I measure the length of the car bungee cord is provided with two hooks at each of the extremities, therefore I hang the cord with one hook on the clamp, I measure the weight holder then I hang it to the bottom hook line the I add one weight cylinder, afterwards I carefully measure the length of the cord. Next I measure each weight on the scale and I measure the extension on the cord each time the weight is added. All the measurements are recorded during the experiment.

## Variables

• Independent variables

Length of the cord

Thickness of the cord

• Dependent variable:

Time taken to complete a bungee jump

Velocity of the body

• Control variable:

The same bungee cord used for different weights

Shape of the weight used, using the same set of weights

Height of the weights from the motion sensor, it is controlled by placing the Vernier motion sensor on a laboratory chair with the ability to move it around and adjust its height.

## Apparatus Used

Vernier motion sensor connected to a computer with a data logging software[6] installed which will be crucial for more accurate timing and graphing purposes than manual timing. Also, the same Bungee cords used in the previous Hooke’s law experiment are used since characteristics are already measured and this experiment is relating to the previous one, a meter ruler can be used to insure that the apparatus is perpendicular to the motion sensor. Blu-tack and tape is also needed.

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## Method

A clamp is put on a flat surface, to prevent it from falling I and the bungee cord is hung from it with the weight holder suspended at the bottom of the cord, both of the hooks attached to both ends of the cord are secured with Blu-Tack to prevent the apparatus from falling and act as the harness in this simulation. The Vernier motion sensor is put on the laboratory chair, and before starting the experiment, activate the motion sensor and oscillate the cord with the suspended weight holder to test the sensitivity of data logging and test the range of motion detection. Afterwards the weight is elevated to the beginning of the cord and it is released with minimum to no force. This step is repeated by adding weights and the weights are secured with a thin strip of tape to avoid them falling off.

## Bibliography

“Aussie Plunges into Raging Waters after Bungy Cord Snaps.” N.p., 9 Jan. 2012. Web.

“BERSA.” Bersa. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

“Bungee Jumping.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Nov. 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

“Elasticity.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. N.p.: Columbia UP, 2014. Print.

“Fatal Bungee Jump Was “accident”” BBC News. BBC, 25 Feb. 2005. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

“For Thrills, Lovers and Others Leap.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 July 1991. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

“Hooke’s Law.” Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

“Hooke’s Law” The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. N.p.: Columbia UP, 2012. Print.

“Injuries Resulting from Bungee-cord Jumping.” ANNALS OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE 22.6 (1993): 1060-063. Print.

“PhysicsLAB: Springs: Hooke’s Law.” PhysicsLAB: Springs: Hooke’s Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

“Relatives Grieve after Fatal Bungee Accident.” Baltimore Sun. N.p., 16 May 2000. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

“Strength of Materials.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. N.p.: Columbia UP, 2012. Print.

[1] “Fatal Bungee Jump was “accident” ” BBC News. BBC, 25 Feb. 2005. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

[2] “Aussie Plunges into Raging Waters after Bungy Cord Snaps.” N.p., 9 Jan. 2012.Web

[3] “For Thrills, Lovers and Others Leap.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 July 1991. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

[4] “Relatives Grieve after Fatal Bungee Accident.” Baltimore Sun. N.p., 16 May 2000. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

[5] “Injuries Resulting from Bungee-cord Jumping.” ANNALS OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE 22.6 (1993): 1060-063. Print.

[6] Logger Pro 3. Portland, Or.: Vernier Software, 2003. Computer software.

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## How to Bungee Jump

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 29 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.

There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 130,911 times.

Ever hear people say, “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” Well if you would like to answer yes to that question, then bungee jumping is the answer! Bungee jumping can be an incredible experience and it is important to prepare yourself.

### Finding the Location

• Many harnesses are attached to your ankles and can exacerbate any ankle or knee problems you may be experiencing.
• Neck and back injuries can make it difficult to bungee jump because of the pressure being put on them during your jump. Speak to your doctor.

Make sure you are old enough. Some outfitters will allow jumpers as young as 14, others only allow those 16 years old and above. In many cases, if you are under 18 then your parent or guardian will have to accompany you to sign any waivers the outfitter provides. [2] X Research source

• You can jump from bridges, cranes, platforms on buildings, towers, hot air balloons, helicopters or cable cars. Choose whichever location appeals most to you. [4] X Research source

• The BERSA (British Elastic Rope Sports Association) Code of Safe Practice is a safety guideline for operators. [6] X Research source It covers three important topics: informed participation (meaning you must understand the risks involved), redundancy (meaning there are back-up systems in place so that if one component fails the whole system will not fail) and competence (meaning that all equipment and personnel must be of sufficient quality to competently perform their function). This code allows you to ensure that your operator is safe. [7] X Research source

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This also helps you check up on the outfitter and ensure they know what they are doing. You can ask about their equipment, staff training, operating standards, history and so on. This helps you determine how knowledgeable, friendly and safe they are as an outfitter.

Look into costs. Look into costs in advance as well- expect to pay up to \$100 or more. Many outfitters will charge a deposit when you book which could be around \$50 or half of the total cost.

Book your jump. You might want to book in advance to ensure that when you arrive you are able to jump. Some outfitters require advance booking because you have to take transportation to the location of the jump.

### Preparing Yourself

• Just because you are afraid of heights does not mean you won’t jump. Bungee jumping is a very different experience and you may not feel the same while jumping- especially because of the adrenaline rush!
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Dress correctly. Wear comfortable clothes and tuck your shirt in so that it does not fly up when you decelerate, showing everyone your stomach. Similarly do not wear a skirt. Your clothes should not be restrictive or too loose. Shoes should be flat-soled and attach securely to your feet. Do not wear boots or shoes that come up high on your ankles or else they can interfere with connecting the ankle harnesses. [9] X Research source

Tie up your hair. If you have long hair you must tie it up so that it does not get stuck in any of the components or hit you in the face while you are jumping.

• A body harness will allow you to move around more easily and complete spins or flips more easily. If you are connected via a body harness you should have at least a sit harness and shoulder harness, or a full body harness. [4] X Research source

• Other types of dives include the back dive, railing jump (similar to swallow except you are jumping off a railing on some bridges), bat drop (where you are hanging upside down on the edge of the platform before jumping and then simply drop), elevator (drop feet first but can be very dangerous and break your ankles) and tandem (jumping with two people at one time). [4] X Research source

Watch others jumping. Take some time to relax and watch other people jump before starting your experience. This can help you ease your mind and nerves.

Shave your legs. If you are using a leg harness, then they will have to lift your pants to strap it on. If the sight of your unshaven legs embarrasses you, be sure to shave prior to jumping.

### Jumping Off

Sign in with your outfitter. You will pay the balance for your jump if you have not already and sign a few forms and waivers. Although bungee jumping is very safe, they will want to make sure you understand the potential risks. If you have any questions about the waiver, do not hesitate to ask a crew member.

Be prepared to be weighed. They will weigh you to make sure they are using the correct equipment for you body weight and to make sure you are not over the weight limit of the outfitter.

Go to the top of the bungee bridge. When you get to the top of the bungee, there will be instructors up there who will prep you. If you can make it to the top, then you should be fine because this is one of the scariest parts!

Listen to your instructors. Listen to what they have to say, as it will make your jump more enjoyable. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions- that’s what they are there for. The instructors will put padding around your ankles and then attach big elastic bands around them, which will in turn be attached to the actual bungee cord!

• Don’t look down before jumping! You will have plenty of time to admire the scenery while jumping. Looking down before you jump might make you change your mind.

• After the jump, a guy in a boat might come and unhook you from the cords or they will lift you back up to the bridge or wherever you jumped from.

## Community Q&A

I would recommend speaking with your doctor before going bungee jumping to ensure it won’t further damage your back.

Thank you for your feedback.
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You should talk to your doctor to determine if bungee jumping will be harmful with your heart condition.

Thank you for your feedback.
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No, rubber bands are not meant to hold the weight of a human. You need something that is safer and stronger.

Thank you for your feedback.
As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a \$30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy! Claim Your Gift

As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a \$30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!

As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a \$30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!

As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a \$30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!

As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a \$30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!

As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a \$30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!

As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a \$30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!

## You Might Also Like

1. ↑https://www.acsh.org/news/2016/08/19/bungee-jumping-and-the-art-of-risk-assessment
2. ↑http://www.ukbungee.co.uk/faqs/3/health-age-restrictions
3. ↑https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/worlds-15-best-bungee-jumping-sites/index.html
4. ↑ 4.04.14.2http://www.bungeezone.com/types/
6. ↑http://www.bungeezone.com/orgs/bersa.shtml
7. ↑http://www.ukbungee.co.uk/content/14/safety-information
8. ↑https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccanewton/2016/06/28/six-ways-to-overcome-your-nervousness-gremlin/
9. ↑https://www.traveldudes.org/travel-tips/10-practical-tips-first-time-bungee-jumpers/139688
1. ↑http://www.bungeezone.com/equip/harness.shtml
2. ↑ www.bungeezone.com/types/

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 29 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 130,911 times.

Before you bungee jump, make sure to put on correct clothes, like flat shoes attached securely to your feet and t-shirts and pants that don’t restrict your movement. If you’re feeling nervous beforehand, take some time to watch others jump so you can see how it’s done. When you’re ready to jump, fill in the forms provided by the operator and get weighed to determine what equipment you need. Then, go up to the top of the bungee bridge and follow the instructions given by the staff. Finally, jump when a staff member yells “Go!”. For tips on whether to jump backwards or forwards, and how to check the bungee outfitters’ safety record, read on!

## What is bungee jumping?

Bungee jumping put simply is an exhilarating adventure sport which involves jumping from a high platform – normally from a dam, bridge, crane or tower, connected to a specially-made thick elastic cord which recoils after a few seconds of freefall. Though the bungee platforms are usually from static structures, it is also possible, and highly thrilling, to bungee jump from hot air balloons, mountain gondolas and helicopters.

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Practiced around the world, this activity is great to do in groups with friends or family, cheering each other on as you wait for your own turn to jump!

Some bungee sites have a minimum weight limit rather than a minimum age, so it’s a sport that can be tried by a range of ages, with no maximum age limit. Some bungee sites however have a minimum age, the average being around 14 years old, but this is dependent on each individual bungee.

A sport that requires minimal preparation on the participant’s part, requiring only a minimal level of fitness, good health, to wear appropriate footwear, and to listen to a safety briefing, this is a great sport that almost anyone can try!

You can ease into bungee jumping by picking the height that suits you best, depending on your threshold for tolerating heights. To compare various bungee sites from one another, take a look at our list of the World’s 10 highest bungee jumps! If you have your eyes set on booking a specific bungee jump or would like to know if there’s a site around you, make sure you check out all our bungee jumps around the world!

## History of Bungee Jumping

According to a legend surrounding the South Pacific island of Pentecost Island, bungee jumping originated there. The legend says that a woman, fleeing her husband who was mistreating her, climbed a tree to hide, which her husband followed her up. Just as her husband tried to grab her, she tied vines around her ankles and jumped. Her husband jumped at the same time but hit the ground and died, so the woman was saved by the vines.

A man from the South of Pentecost Island bungee jumping using vines

Since this legend originated, the men of the island have practiced jumping from trees with vines tied around their ankles. This ‘land diving’ or Naghol, as it is known on the island, has become a tradition on Pentecost Island. It is practiced every year on Saturdays between April and June.

Modern history:

In April 1979, on ‘April Fool’s Day’ the Oxford Dangerous Sport Club tried jumping from Bristol’s Clifton Bridge in England. Illegally and moderately unpreparedly, a few members of this club attached elastic bungee cords to themselves and jumped – something they later did again at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. the following year.

This, along with other jumps, propelled the sport into the mainstream. In 1989, the now world-famous New Zealander A.J. Hackett opened the world’s first commercial bungee jumping location in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Bungee jumping at Europabrucke, Innsbruck, Austria

## What equipment is used in bungee jumping?

The amount of equipment required for this sport is minimal, with the participant only needed to bring appropriate footwear.

The bungee site will supply the specially designed braided shock cord you will be connected to, the leg and body harness you will be wearing, connected to the bungee cord and a helmet may be required at some destinations.

Don’t be skeptical of the location if you don’t spot a harness, as some bungee sites simply connect jumpers to the bungee cord via the ankles, whilst others use a harness. You can rest assured, knowing both pieces of equipment keep you secure:

Bungee Cord: A specially designed and made cord made from tightly woven strands of rubber. With different strengths and thicknesses available, different bungee sites opt for slightly varying cords. This cord will have recoil when you reach a certain point before you reach the ground.

Harnesses: The harnesses are worn around the thighs, waist, chest, and shoulders, with the bungee cord connected at the front to both of these pieces of the harness.

Bungee jumping Stockhorn, Interlaken, Switzerland

## What will I do?

Pre-activity:

Arrive at the bungee site at least an hour before your slot, this will give you time to take in the surroundings, watch the people before you jump and get acquainted with the instructors and have a safety briefing.

Before the jump, you will be weighed so that the operators set up the particular rope you will use. After attaching your harnesses and rope and checking everything is secure and safe, you’ll then be ready to jump!

During the activity:

Relax, stretch your arms out, bend your knees and jump into the void. Enjoy the sensation of the freefall, it will only last a couple of seconds, and then the rope will be fully stretched and the elastic will recoil and bring you back up slightly and you will swing momentarily at the end of the rope until you are either lowered down to a specially-made landing area airbag, platform or even a boat sometimes (dependent on the location) or lifted back up to the spot you jumped from.

Post-activity:

After having your harnesses detached from the rope and the harness subsequently taken off, you’ll be able to relax and think back on the incredible bungee jumping experience you’ve just had!

Bungee jumping Sentosa, Singapore

## Who can do bungee jumping?

Bungee jumping is an inclusive, accessible sport, able to be tried by people with reduced mobility, amputees or visitors with partial paralysis. If you have any doubts about whether yourself or one of your group can participate in bungee jumping, it is highly recommended to speak to the staff at the bungee site that you intend to visit beforehand.

Min. and max. weights:

Rules vary for different bungees, but the general minimum weight for bungee jumping is 35/40kg. The maximum weight again differs between sites but is generally around 145/150kg.

Pregnant women:

Bungee jumping unfortunately is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

Health requirements:

Generally the participant must be in good health, if you suffer with epilepsy, joint problems or heart disease you may not be allowed to participate. It is worth checking with the bungee site you’re planning on visiting ahead of booking to see their individual policy on health requirements if you are unsure.

Other rules:

It is also worth noting that it is not advised for bungee participants to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as they may not be permitted to participate. This sport requires a high level of engagement and attention to the safety instructions provided by instructors.

Bridge Swinging near Barcelona, Spain

## Variations of bungee

This exhilarating sport has a number of equally exciting variations such as bridge and canyon swings and sky jumping.

Bridge Swing: This is offered at a number of bridges around the world, bridge swinging is a variation of bungee jumping in that you still jump from a bridge but the type of rope is different and you swing rather than freefall.

Canyon swing: Similar to bridge swinging, though instead of jumping from a bridge, you jump from the side of a canyon. Canyon swinging is like cliff jumping, but you’re attached to a rope.

Sky jump: A sky jump is a controlled fall from a large height. The participant has a wire attached to them as they ‘fall’ at a controlled speed. Unlike bungee jumping, there’s no recoil of the wire and most sky jumps will end on a landing platform at the bottom of the tower that you jump from.

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