The Physics of ‘Sniping’ for Gold


There are three forces performing on the particles. First, there’s the downward-pulling gravitational power (Fg) because of the interplay with the Earth. This power is dependent upon each the mass (m) of the item and the gravitational discipline (g = 9.8 newtons per kilogram on Earth).

Subsequent, we have now the buoyancy power (Fb). When an object is submerged in water (or any fluid), there may be an upward-pushing power from the encompassing water. The magnitude of this power is the same as the burden of the water displaced, such that it is proportional to the quantity of the item. Discover that each the gravitational power and the buoyancy power rely on the scale of the item.

Lastly, we have now a drag power (Fd) because of the interplay between the shifting water and the item. This power is dependent upon each the scale of the item and its relative velocity with respect to the water. We are able to mannequin the magnitude of the drag power (in water, to not be confused with air drag) utilizing Stoke’s legislation, in line with the next equation:

Illustration: Rhett Allain

On this expression, R is the radius of the spherical object, μ is the dynamic viscosity, and v is the speed of the fluid with respect to the item. In water, the dynamic viscosity has a worth of about 0.89 x 10-3 kilograms per meter per second.

Now we are able to mannequin the movement of a rock versus the movement of a chunk of gold in shifting water. There’s one small difficulty, although. In response to Newton’s second legislation, the online power on an object modifications the item’s velocity—however as the speed modifications, the power additionally modifications.

One approach to cope with this difficulty is to interrupt the movement of every object into small time intervals. Throughout every interval, I can assume that the online power is fixed (which is roughly true). With a relentless power, I can then discover the speed and place of the item on the finish of the interval. Then I simply have to repeat this similar course of for the following interval.

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