The Physics of Sports

Course Code
PHYS 1130
Richard Lindgren

This course examines the physics of motion set in the context of sports. This is a study of spinning and flying projectiles through the air (humans too) and rolling/sliding objects along flat surfaces. The goal is to focus on understanding physics concepts (forces, momentum, acceleration, etc.) and equations relating them (not on derivations)  in sports such as running, jumping, hitting a baseball and throwing a curve; shooting a three pointer, dunking (hang time); throwing a spiral / punting in football, kicking a soccer ball (banana curve); serving a tennis ball, hitting topspin, pirouetting in skating and floating in ballet. We will include the effects of friction, air drag, and sideways forces due to asymmetric air flow. Synchronous lectures, with breakout rooms, YouTube videos, and  recorded demonstrations will be given throughout the 2 one-hour morning sessions (½ hour break in-between). The last of the 2 one-hour afternoon sessions following a ½ hour break focuses on problem solving and questions about homework. Four short  quizzes and a final examination will be given. After completion, hopefully you become a sharper athlete with greater appreciation of the power of science and technology to address world problems as well as those in sports