#694: Swimfence

Olympic swimming events are timed by an electronic system capable of measurements accurate to within 1/1000 sec. Since the pools themselves are hard to construct with corresponding precision, medals are allocated based on differences of only 1/100 sec.

It seems to me that the lane in which one swims at this level of competition must have a broadly similarly-sized effect on a competitor’s race time. Those at the edges will be contacted by strongly asymmetric wave action and a non-uniform turbulence field.

Today’s invention is a way to limit these non-uniformities. It consists of a set of transparent barriers from the pool floor to above the current level of the lane floats, which they replace. These would be set on the pool bottom and flooded with pool water before an internal, end to end cable is tensioned, exactly equally for each barrier.

These would conveniently stop the fluid dynamics interactions between lanes, whilst still allowing swimmers to see each other.

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