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There is a big fountain in a lake in my city.

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I was talking with a friend and we were wondering whether it would be able to lift me up. I sent a few emails and obtained information about the fountain. The raw email reads in French:

Nous avons 2 pompes de 150 HP qui pousse l'eau a 195 pieds de haut et la pression par pompe à la sortie est d'environ 380 pieds de tête.

I am not knowledgable in physics in any way, but this is how I can translate it to the best of my knowledge:

We have two pumps of 150 horsepower that push water at 195 feet high and the pressure by pump at the exit is of 165 PSI

Now, could this possibly be able to lift me, a 160 pounds man? How can I find out? And under what conditions would this work?

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1 Answer

You should consider yourself a 160 lb bag of water. The criterion for lifting you up is that the up-momentum per second in the water is roughly larger than the up-momentum you need. From the height of 200 ft, 60 m, you know the velocity is more or less $\sqrt{2gh}=35 m/s$, and to lift you up at 100kg requires transferring $mg=1000$ units of up-momentum per second to you, so this has to be available in the water, so you need at least about 30 kg/s of water output at the pump, somewhat more because this water will be going up with you. This is a good rough estimate, so you need to know the outflow diameter, or the amount of water per second emitted to know for sure, and even then, I wouldn't recommend it, since you are going to get hurt no matter what.

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