The Physics
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Depth of the Deepest Dive in a Bathyscaphe

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Bathyscaphe, Microsoft. Encarta Online Encyclopedia, 2003. "The bathyscaphe Trieste, built in 1953, set a world record on (about 35,810 ft) to the bottom of the Mariana Trench." 10,915 meters
A Brief History. Delaware State University. "In 1960, Jacques Piccard and Navy Lieutenant Donald Walsh descended in Trieste to the deepest known point on Earth - the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. The two men made the deepest dive in history: 10,915 meters." 10,915 meters
"Mariana Trench." Microsoft Encarta. CD-ROM. 1996. "Auguste Piccard, invented the bathyscaphe and Walsh took the Trieste to a depth of 10,915m (about 35,810 ft), the deepest descent in history." 10,915 meters
Answers to Deepsea/Hydrothermal Vent Questions. Ask a Scientist. Oceanlink "This vehicle was in operation over 40 years ago and made the deepest dives of all time, to a record depth of 10,912m (35,802 ft)." 10,912 meters

Are you interested in going on a vacation to the Mariana Trench?

The Mariana Trench is the deepest known point on Earth. It is one of many deepwater ocean trenches formed wherever plates collide. In the case of the Mariana's, it's the Pacific and Philippine plates. Near its southwestern extremity, about 210 miles southwest of the island of Guam, is the deepest point on earth. This point, also known as the Challenger Deep, is estimated to be 10,923 m (about 35,839 feet) deep. Though it may seem impossible to visit this place it is, using a bathyscaphe. A bathyscaphe is a submarine-like vessel designed to operate at great depths.

In 1947 a Swiss physicist by the name of Auguste Piccard designed a bathyscaphe which he called the Trieste. The Trieste descended as great as 4000 meters. In 1953, Jacques Piccard joined his father in building new and improved bathyscaphes. The Trieste II dived to 3,139 meters in field trials. In 1958 the US Navy acquired the Trieste II and equipped it with a new cabin enabling it to reach deep ocean trenches.

On January 23, 1960, Jacques Piccard and Navy Lieutenant Donald Walsh descended in the Trieste II to the deepest known point on Earth, the Mariana Trench. They dived to a depth of 10,915 meters. They set a world record which is yet to be broken.

The bathyscaphe is not only used for exploration, in 1963 it was used to search for the hull of the nuclear submarine USS Thresher, which had plunged 2560 meters to the ocean floor. In 1974 the French bathyscaphe Archimedes and other technology, explored the great rift valley of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, southwest of the Azores. The rift valley is the separation between the Eurasian plate and the North American plate of the earth's crust and it is one of the many sites in the ocean bottom where molten rock oozes forth to form new crust.

Krystal Brewington -- 2003