The Great Titanic Epidemic

May 13, 2012
By kianacaranto BRONZE, Mililani, Hawaii
kianacaranto BRONZE, Mililani, Hawaii
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us." -Charles Bukowski

Ever since the 1997 film, Titanic, came out there has been controversy on whether Jack and Rose could have both fit on the wooden door after they jumped into the water. Maybe they could have taken turns or tried to balance out their weights a little better. Many people believe that they could have, and maybe Jack Dawson would have survived.

Titanic was listed as the eighty-third best movie of all time, according to the American Film Institute. The undersea scenes were shot outside of the submarine in the water, and some of the props were from the actual wreckage. People claim that Cameron decided Jack should perish because he wanted the viewers to feel pain, just like all of the people on the RMS Titanic felt on April 15, 1912. In actuality the shipwreck caused 1514 deaths, and so many viewers were pained by just one death, Jack Dawson’s. So let’s say Kate Winslet (Rose), during the movie, weighs around 130 pounds and stands at five feet, six inches. Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack), stands at about six feet tall, and weighs around 160. The door is actually a piece of woodwork from the first class lounge on A Deck. The piece of woodwork is around seven feet long and two and a half feet wide. It is maybe six inches thick.

In fact, there was this ridiculous picture found on the internet showing two people laying on a replica of the door to prove that Jack and Rose could both have fit. However, they were on land, leaving out the factor of buoyancy. Buoyancy force is basically when an object is placed in a fluid, and the fluid exerts an upward force. This force comes from the pressure exerted on the object by the fluid. This pressure increases as the depth increases, and the pressure on the bottom of an object is always larger than the force on the top. Hence, Rose could lay on the door without sinking it. In the movie as Jack and Rose find the door they both try to get on it, but when they do, it capsizes. Jack being the gentlemen lets Rose stay on.

The force of buoyancy is basically density times volume times acceleration of gravity. The buoyant force can be calculated by finding the difference between the force pushing on the bottom of the object (F) and the force pushing on the top of the object (f). So the formula would look something like Buoyancy = F - f, because the force from the bottom is greater than the force coming from the top. The buoyancy limits the board surface from being surrounded by water. Using this formula, calculations state that the woodwork could have held an additional 54.075 kg, which is about 110 pounds more. This, obviously, is less than DiCaprio weighed.

But in actuality, the piece of wood has been sharing a part of Jack’s weight the whole time. Also, the water was sea water, not lake or stream water. The amplitude of the waves shouldn’t have been less than 0.1 meters. This predicts that two people will always maintain in a state of semi-flooded-ness, both of them being in the ice cold water couldn’t have been good, considering they were both at low stages of hypothermia at the time. The mass of the door should have been around 60 to 70 kg. And the maximum force that can be produced through buoyancy would be 882.9 Newtons. You then simply combine the masses and multiply by the force of gravity, and you get 1926.634 Newtons. The force of gravity is larger than the force of buoyancy, in this case, the two would have sank.

Assuming they would have sank, they could have possibly found another way to make it work. Jack and Rose could have taken turns laying on the door, but Jack being chivalrous, wouldn’t have allowed that. Now you’ve learned, the scientific way, that Jack and Rose couldn’t have both fit on the door at the same time, you must be a bit sad. I’m sure everyone is. It just wouldn’t be logical and would go against the laws of physics if Cameron allowed them both to fit on the door. My brain knows they wouldn’t have both been able to fit, but the heart says that they should’ve tried to balance out their weights or something! They at least should have tried again one more time to both fit.

Yes I do realize that Jack and Rose are both fictional characters. Still, Titanic will remain one of the greatest movies of all time.

The author's comments:
I feel so strongly about this issue that I had to write about it. I assume the math is correct and if you see a problem please refrain from telling me so because I am not good with criticism.

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