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					The Physics of Sports

Fermilab

Tevatron, 4 miles around

Main Injector, 2 miles around

Argonne National Laboratory

Physics explains things that are very, very large.

Physics explains things that are very, very small.

Physics explains things that are right in front of us.

Newton’s First Law
• Objects at rest remain at rest • Objects in motion remain in motion UNTIL YOU APPLY A FORCE

Newton’s Second Law
F = ma

What forces are important in sports?

Flight Path

Energy in the baseball/bat collision

The Home Run Swing

• Ball arrives on 100 downward trajectory • Big Mac swings up at 250 • Ball takes off at 350

The optimum home run angle!

Courtesy of A. Nathan, University of Illinois. http://www.npl.uiuc.edu/~a-nathan/pob/

Newton’s Third Law
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Conservation of Energy
Potential Energy

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic Energy

Compression Energy Heat and Sound Energy

Conservation of Momentum

If m1 = m2 , then v1 = v2

Conservation of Momentum

Equipment features
• Ball material, size, shape, and texture • Properties of the club, bat, racquet, or stick

http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/Daniel_Lenord/vault.html

Air Resistance (drag)

F R I C T I O N

Resistance & Friction

The Power of Spin

Spins in Figure Skating

Spins in Figure Skating

Reaction Time

Downhill skier speed: 80 mph

Reaction Time in Baseball

Courtesy of R. Adair through A. Nathan.

Measure your reaction time…

Compare your reaction time…

Equation used: t = √((2d)/g)

Physical laws explain the world
• Newton’s Laws of Motion • Conservation of Energy • Conservation of Momentum These laws help us explain everything about sports.

Physics really is everywhere!

Visit Fermilab
www.fnal.gov

• • • • • •

Buffalo viewing Bicycling Walking Roller blading Canoeing Fishing

Visit Fermilab
• • • • Lederman Science Center Tours Saturday morning physics Ask a Scientist

On-line activities:
www-ed.fnal.gov

The Physics of Sports


				
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