# falling lifts

dave m | 17:20 Sun 27th Mar 2005 | Science
would u survive this if u jumped the millisecond the lift hit the floor.....this is drivin me insane!!!!

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Not unless you can jump upwards at 200mph - the speed which the lift would be travelling if all of the safety mechanisms decided not to work.
If the lift had no roof and you could jump upwards at the speed the lift was travelling the instant before it hit the floor.
Wouldnt you need to jump at twice the speed the lift was falling at ? Because when you push off, you exert the same amount of force in the opposite direction.
No.

When you push off from the falling lift, an equal and opposite force would apply to the mass of the lift, (cables and counterweight disconnected). This mass may be about a tonne, so they would increase velocity at a tenth of your jumping speed.

As for your jumping speed, it might be enough to raise your centre of gravity by half a metre tops, meaning you would reduce your impact by about 3 metres per second (8mph). The falling lift cabin accelerates by about 10 metres per second for every second of freefall, so your effort would be almost futile for any big drop. Besides, if you jumped just a fraction too soon you would brain yourself on the ceiling in freefall an instant before being crushed on the deck.

Your best bet would be to lie flat on the floor if you could and let the crumple zones in the bottom of the shaft to the deforming instead of you!

Why worry about it?  How would you know when the lift was about to hit the floor?

Unless its that freaky ass Glass Elevator that Wonka guy has ! I hate Wonka, with his wee beady eyes and his, "oh, you're gonna buy my chocolate" .............

Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel tried out this myth in episode 17. http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/episode/episode_03.html

It would also depend on whether the lift was an open top as you may be able to jump at the split second it crashes but the ceiling would then come down and squish you flat.

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