Our Earth has a beautiful water cycle. The water that is evaporated from the surface of Earth is given back to it in the form of rain. Most of us like this rainy season, some consider it even romantic. Although we can not just stay inside our homes and that is why many umbrellas can be seen on the streets. This caught my attention recently and got me to a conclusion that most of the people have their umbrella exactly overhead irrespective of the rain.
This takes me back to the class on “vectors” of my junior high school when I got to know about the concept of relative velocity. The direction in which our umbrella should point depends on two things: velocity of rain and velocity of us. Usually, we neglect both of these and just put the umbrella over our head thinking we are safe enough. In most cases, we actually are right. Because the rain is usually vertical and our velocity is not that significant. But as I am in a place where the wind is strong enough to alter the relative direction of rain, so that we have to tilt our umbrellas a little to be absolutely safe. Scenario where I live should look something like this:
Strictly speaking, I am exaggerating the wind velocity to make things clear. This same situation could also be seen if the rain is vertical and you are travelling with a large velocity, say you’re on a bicycle or a motor-bike. In these cases, if your umbrella is over your head, then you’re under-utilizing it. Though it is just a small thing, but the little science that we forget to apply here, could save us from getting drenched. This is perhaps an example of the saying that science is all around us.
So, next time when it rains and you are outdoors, make sure your umbrella is pointing in the right direction to save you.