Sunday, July 2, 2023

Why didn't the Titanic implode like the Titan?

11:54 PM | ,

the Titanic
The maritime world was recently shaken by the unfortunate news of the submersible Titan's implosion while exploring the sunken Titanic, leading to the loss of five lives. This calamitous incident has raised numerous queries regarding the cause of the implosion and the contrasting fate of the Titanic during its sinking. To unravel this, we need to delve into the science behind implosions.

Implosions occur due to a stark difference in internal and external pressure. As Arun Bansil, a physics professor at Northeastern University, explains, "A submersible submerged deep experiences significant force on its surface due to water pressure. If this pressure surpasses the hull's resistance, a violent implosion ensues."

Contrarily, implosions can happen at the surface if the internal pressure is less than the external, like creating a vacuum by removing air inside a tank. So, what differentiates the Titan and the Titanic? Portions of Titanic did implode, particularly the stern section, possibly as it reached about 60 meters beneath the surface. The parts that resisted implosion managed to do so by releasing interior air, thus equalizing internal and external pressure - a condition under which implosion is avoided. This resulted in parts of the Titanic remaining relatively "intact", unlike the complete implosion of the Titan submersible. This comparison helps us understand the varying outcomes of these two maritime events.

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