Skip Nav
Tech Tips
The Easy Way to Block Contacts From Sending Messages or Calls
Humor
17 People Who Emoji Better Than You
Tech Tips
How to Create a Wedding Hashtag No One Else Will Have

Olympic Time Measurements

Down to the Millisecond: All About Olympic Timing

With the best of the best competing against one another, photo finishes are inevitable in the Olympic Games — which makes high-tech, extremely accurate time measurements crucial. How do those highly precise times come about? Thanks to Science of the Summer Olympics, the 10-part series produced by Science 360 and NBC Learn, we've uncovered some fascinating facts about the technology behind the numbers.

  • The high-tech Olympic time-keeping system is built using a variety of cameras, lasers, computers, and extremely accurate clocks.
  • All the times are measured down to the millisecond, producing results that are exactly 100 times more accurate than those of a stopwatch.
  • For the track and swimming events, there are speakers installed behind the starting blocks to make sure all the athletes are able to hear the starting gun.
  • Sensors are placed within the starting block to track the athletes' movement, and an electronic signal indicates a false start.
  • During track races, runners move through a laser beam, and a high-tech camera captures over 2,000 digital images per second to ensure the most accurate results.
  • For races with several participants — like cycling and marathons — the athletes are equipped with small electronic tags that attach to their bikes or shoes.

For more information about Olympic timing, watch Science of the Summer Olympics: Measuring a Champion below:

Image Source: Getty
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Nancy-Einhart Nancy-Einhart 4 years
100 times more accurate than a stopwatch!? That's incredible.
McDonald's Secrets Revealed
Oscar Pistorius Accused of Murdering Girlfriend
Hottest Haircuts Summer 2017
Giada De Laurentiis Facts
Sexy Olympic Athletes of 2012
Lightning Strike Tree Photo
Queen Elizabeth's Corgi Monty Dies
Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why Casts Hanging Out
New Beauty Products For Summer 2017
Selena Gomez Best Style 2017
From Our Partners
Latest Technology & Gadgets
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds