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Guest Keri


Everyone will be watching the super bowl, and naturally, I thought of physics in football. I was trying to come up with as many examples of real life physics in football as possible, and I came up with some. Projectile motion when passing the football. Collisions when they tackle each other. Conservation of momentum again in tackling. Relative motion with the different angles of the cameras viewing the game (relative to the ground, ball, point in the air). Work needed to tackle a player. PE and KE when jumping to catch the ball. Impulse of a hard tackle. Center of mass in the football when it is rotating and spiraling on a pass. Rotational energy in the ball (try to derive the moment of inertia of a football..). Torque in the football on a kick. Simple harmonic motion in everything! Any other things that I am missing? Doing this actually helped me review some of the formulas and concepts, should do it more often!


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You forgot all about the reduced momentum without the added mass of Woodson and Driver in play.

On a more serious note, the friction coefficient between players cleats and the turf can be a big deal if a team isn't well equipped and has actually cost teams many a rushing yard.

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Great physics demos notwithstanding, it was a very entertaining game... even for a Steelers fan painfully observing his team find new and exciting ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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