Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


The Year in Science: Technology 1997

Motion is the Root of All EvilSwim Suit

By Lybi MaJanuary 1, 1998 6:00 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

When a female swimmer is looking for advantages over her competition, she might try on a new swimsuit. Not to make a fashion statement, but to reduce drag on her body has it moves through the water.

A major component of drag, a frictional force that acts in the opposite direction of an object’s motion, occurs when water flows over a woman’s breasts. As water hits the chest, flows to the top of the breasts and starts down the other side, it begins to separate from the surface of the swimsuit, creating eddies, which absorb the swimmer’s momentum. Engineers at Mizuno, Japan’s largest sporting goods manufacturer, put 126 silicone pins, each tk inches long, on the area of a swimsuit just below the breasts. When the water strikes the pins, it breaks up into many small eddies, which act to keep the water flowing closer to the swimsuit, reducing drag. Mizuno engineers took a page from their counterparts in aerospace, who have been known to place protruding structures on airplane wings.

Mizuno, which makes the suit jointly with Speedo, says the suit reduced drag by tk percent in tests. The first suits are expected to be on the shelves in when? in the U.S.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 50%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In