Abstract Confusions

Complexity is not a cause of confusion. It is a result of it.

To run or not to run in rain? – A math solution

Ever faced with the inability to take decision whether to run or not to run in rain? or in a snow fall? The question is of course not about running on heavy rain.Most of the time when it drizzles you are left with inability to take decision whether you should ran like mad to home or just walk into it. Friends who wait for the rain to subside have always one easy solution to take. Few brave people decide to fancy it and run in the rain. I always used to run and think afterwards why I ran.

Should one always run in rain or just walk in the rain? Some times you run and get the feeling that you got wet so much then you could have decided to walk. I wondered whether there is any mathematical solution to this problem. Eh! problem? Yeah, problem of some sort. 🙂

To my surprise, people have studied this already. Running in the rain presents facts about it. It notes the following

When caught in the rain without mac,
Walk as fast as the wind at your back,
But when the wind’s in your face
The optimal pace
Is fast as your legs will make track.

One should in-fact run as fast as when there is a weak wind trail at your back, not at the pace of wind. There is a mathematical paper published on October, 2009. The abstract is

The age-old question of whether one stays driest by walking or running in the rain is addressed. In the previous literature the traveler has always been modeled by a rectangular solid. Here we consider the consequences for more well-rounded individuals, in particular, for ellipsoids. We find that, in fact, shape matters, and reach conclusions that differ from those utilizing rectangles. Indeed, we find that in the presence of a tail wind, the optimal pace for the ellipsoidal traveler is always slightly faster than the tail wind.

Their recommendation, therefore, is to RUN in the rain unless you find yourself traveling in the perfect storm—where the tail-wind is half your top running speed, the cross-wind is minimal, and the rainfall is light. It is always said, “I have proved the theory, not tested it though”. Confusing?

By the way, a last piece of advice. Don’t trust me for this. Carry umbrella.


3 responses to “To run or not to run in rain? – A math solution

  1. kelly December 22, 2009 at 7:33 AM

    Good read. Adding to digg for you.

  2. Mario Pinnetoni January 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Hello, it looks like your site is up and coming in the

  3. Tyson F. Gautreaux January 26, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Hey, This is a terrific thread. I found you on google. Keep up the work.

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