What's a bathysphere made from?

Hi, I am a Quantum Physicist. Names Eli. Does anyone here know what metals constructed the Bathysphere mentioned above?

Eli Samaha

The first bathysphere never went deeper than 3000ft.

The bathyscaphe FNRS-2 made it down The Trench in 1960 to a depth of 35,810ft. EB says the cabin was made of steel.

That I am aware of, Dr. Beebe never took his bathysphere to the Marianas Trench. The bathyscaphe of Auguste Piccard, the Trieste, did make that descent. The spherical gondola that hung below the rest of the craft was steel. (Beebe’s bathysphere was built in the early 1930’s and the Trieste was built in 1953. Titanium and similar metals (to say nothing of plastics and composites) were not developed to a level to sustain the deep ocean pressures at those times.)

For more info, use www.google.com to search on “bathyscaphe trieste” or “bathysphere” or “beebe” or “piccard”.

The following site did mention the steel gondola: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/dsv.htm of the Trieste.


Several years ago I was poking around a used bookshop in rural Maine and came across a nice tight copy of William Beebe’s HALF MILE DOWN (1934). I recommend this highly not only as a charming work of popular science but as a nifty adventure story.

Do you guys know how SMALL that thing was? I was getting contact-claustrophobia as I read…and the next passage I hit, there was Beebe climbing into that teensy steel ball for the initial dive ALONG WITH Barton, the guy who financed the project!!! Jesus, I still have strangled nightmares.

After I read the book, I wanted to see the real thing…all that historical scientific importance, they wouldn’t have just melted it down for scrap metal, right? How to find it(these were pre-Web days)…Beebe had mentioned it was on display at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry between 1931-33…should I check there first?
I called the National Geographic Society for help, and the nice lady called back the next day to tell me it was sitting out in the open in the NYC Aquarium, Coney Island. One subway fare away.

Gee, I’m in a chatty mood this morning.


I don’t know the answer to your question, but I have one of my own.

I hope I am not taken to task for being off-topic, but I’ve never had the opportunity to speak to a physicist before.

Eli, is renormalization okay with you?

I’m not a mathamatician, but it seems a bit underhanded to me.

What’s your take on this?

Is there a piece to the puzzle that we’re missing, or is my understanding off?

If the question is stupid, I will not be offended if you ignore it.

Why me?

Auguste Piccard not only designed the Trieste, he was the first man to reach the stratosphere (51,775 ft) in a pressurized aluminum balloon gondola of his own design in 1931.

His son Jacques was one of the men who first descended the Mariana trench (7 miles deep) in 1960.

His grandson Bertrand and a parter became the first men to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon on March 21st of this year.

That family sure has its ups and downs.

Oh, and speaking of The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago… They have on display “The Piccard gondola.” It’s a later (1933) steel design of Auguste’s which was used by his identical twin brother Jean and his wife Jeannette to ascend to 57,579 feet, a woman’s balloon altitude record that stands to this day.

Not sure if the have that bathysphere there… I don’t remember seeing it, and I’ve been there many times.

Nickrz - you might be interested to know that Auguste was the model for Cuthbert Calculus in the Tintin books.

Something tells me that despite his claim, that Eli won’t know what renormalization is. :slight_smile:

I’m starting to get that feeling, too, Dude.

I should have never posted the question.

I wasn’t looking to catch anyone out.

I really wanted to know.

If you’re an optimist, you haven’t been paying attention.

Oops, I never posted this question.

Sorry, Kozmo.

I think I asked it on a thread in GD, somewhere.

If you’re an optimist, you haven’t been paying attention.

Gee, Nickrz, I know that was a long post of mine, but am I such a dry stylist you couldn’t get through to the end?

The Beebe/Barton bathysphere, used in 1930 and 1933 for the first human diving exploits beyond 400 feet or so, is on display in Brooklyn, at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island.

Come out and see it. The chili dogs at Nathan’s afterward are on me!


I think the bathyscaphe “Trieste” (or at least a model) is in the Navy Museum in DC (or at least it was).

Hey, Palidors, I just realized something. Your name is very close to “Polidor,” which was the name of the sister sub of the “Seaview” in the old TV show “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” which was destroyed in the first three or four episodes. And here is a thread about an early deep-sea submersible. Coincidence? I think not.

Kozmo, what is renormalization? I am not trying to be a troll, but I have never heard of this before. Incidentally, I make no claims to being a physicist.

From what I’ve read in those layman-oriented Stephen Hawking books, “renormalization” is the process of taking an equation that has infinities in it and, whenever you have infinity divided by infinity, replace it by an arbitrary constant that you get to pick the value of.

I believe the equations for quantum electrodynamics (?) have some fractions of the form infinity/infinity that have been renormalized by (i.e. replaced with) values like the mass or charge of the electron, to make the numbers “work right in the real world.”

I’m not flying fast, just orbiting low.

Thank you for the explanation, Tracer.
However, from what I can remember from my college physics course (and I was a terrible student) that sounds like the ol’ fudge factor.

I’d say that renormalization is like a model framework in search of a theory. Renormalization is valid in that it is effective for prediction. The problem with it is the same problem that effects much of QM. There is no physical principle to explain it.

I would like to think that work like renormalization will come to look like the Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformation equations from a hundred years ago. Lorentz and Fitzgerald came up with most of the actual equations that would become fundamental to special relativity, but the reasons for the transformations were a mystery. This was a model in search of a theory. Einstein came along and supplied the theory.

Hopefully some time in the next century, superstrings (or a better theory if superstrings doesn’t pan out) will help us make sense of practices like renormalization.

U Ike… I read your post all the way to the end, but got so excited by the time I finished my first reply, I forgot that you’d already found it. Then I felt so foolish, I could not bring myself to post a third (post in a row), apologizing.

Chili dogs at Nathan’s? You’re ON, dood!