Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 20 - Think and Explain: 54

Answer

The sound wave from a traditional starter's pistol, traveling through air, is heard first by the runner who is closest. To be fair to all runners at the Olympics, the starting signal is transmitted electrically to speakers located right behind each runner. The electrical signal travels hundreds of thousands times faster than sound travels in air, ensuring that all runners begin simultaneously.
Update this answer!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this answer.

Update this answer

After you claim an answer you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.