Witt and Thomsen immediately rushed into Bauer, one pushed him down and sat on his chest, the other tried to restrain his arm and shut the valve. Opening their eyes, they screamed that he was trying to kill himself and drown them. But Bauer opened the peacock because he was someone who wanted to live, and because he was also a physics savvy.
The pressure inside the submarine is approximately one atmosphere because it has been sealed and surface sealed in 1 atmospheric layer. The pressure in the outer seawater, at a depth of 16 meters, is about 2.6 atm. Therefore, the pressure difference across the hatch of the submarine totals about 1.6 atm. Switching units, if Bauer wants to force the hatch open to get out, he needs to move it under 166 kilopascals pressure to push the hatch shut.
The hatch had a total surface area of about 1.5 square meters. And 166 kilopascals of water pressure multiplied by 1.5 square meters of the door equates to 249,000 newtons of hydraulic force acting on the door. Please put it in the relevant units; I choose to describe the force according to unit Rachel. Personally, the 160-pound human mass, consisting mostly of cakes, is 72 kg in metric terms. So, according to Isaac Newton, to calculate the force I exert on the Earth, my 72 kg mass is multiplied by the speed at which the Earth’s gravity wants to push me down, which is 9.8 meters per second. square. Seventy-two times 9.8 is the total downward force of 711 Newtons.
So I exerted 711 Newtons of force on the ground just by standing there, doing nothing effectively, converting oxygen into carbon dioxide. The force exerted on the hatch from the water was 249,000 newtons. If Bauer wants to leave the submarine, he needs to be strong enough to lift the 350 Rachel Lances standing on the hatch.
Bauer turned on the faucet because he knew he needed to balance the differential pressure. If he could partially submerge the submarine and bring the internal pressure up to 2.6 atm, then the total pressure difference through the hatch would be reduced to zero. The door will open easily and all three submarines can swim to safety. The door would likely explode violently as the floating air tried to escape and shoot to the surface, but either way, the exit was reached.
Talked by Bauer and mastered by pressure law, Witt and Thomsen let go of their captain and allow him to flood the subship. The increase in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide is temporarily uncomfortable, leading to vomiting and choking, but the submarines rapidly submerge and the pressure is balanced. The trio were blown away through the released hatch and safely into the water as if they were “champagne corks,” as Bauer later said.
Bauer, Witt and Thomsen were the first three submarines to ever successfully escape. They did it in 1851, and they did it by mastering the scientific principles of the underwater world. The Brandtaucher has been taken out of its mud pit in the ocean and preserved. It is currently on display in a museum in Dresden, Germany and is the oldest submarine ever restored.
However, not all submarines from that first generation have learned the counterintuitive undersea physics needed to make a daring escape. A few years later, in the fall of 1863 and during the heated American Civil War, the private Southern Horace Hunley found himself prying open the control tower doors of a small, hand-crank submarine that would soon be. renamed in his memory. The three Rachels were pushing the small oval door shut, and Hunley wasn’t thinking about balancing the pressure like Wilhelm Bauer did. Hunley could not find his way to freedom, and the hatch remained closed. All eight people in the crew were suffocated inside.