Papers Published

  1. J. D. Charles and A. Bejan, The evolution of speed, size and shape in modern athletics, Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 212 (2009), pp. 2419-2425 [doi] .
    (last updated on 2013/03/25)

    In the present study, we show that the fastest runners and swimmers are becoming not only faster but also heavier, taller and more slender. During the past century, the world record speeds for 100 m-freestyle and 100m-dash have increased with body mass (M) raised to the power 1/6, in accordance with the constructal scaling of animal locomotion. The world records also show that the speeds have increased in proportion with body heights (H) raised to the power 1/2, in accordance with animal locomotion scaling. If the athlete’s body is modeled with two length scales (H, body width L), the (M, H) data can be used to calculate the slenderness of the body, H/L. The world records show that the body slenderness is increasing very slowly over time.

    running • swimming • constructal • animal locomotion • body size scaling • athletics • speed records • world records.