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Track and Field



Now that spring is almost upon us, spring sports will be starting up again soon. One spring sport that involves a lot of physics is track and field. From the throwers, to the hurdlers, to the runners, everyone has some kind of physics they need to perform and improve on. The sprinters focus on acceleration, velocity, and time. If we know that the runner has to sprint 100 meters, his time is 12 seconds and his final velocity was 8.3 m/s we can find his acceleration. We use the formula a=(Vf-Vi)/t and then substitute to make a=(8.3m/s - 0m/s)/(12s). The acceleration becomes 0.694 m/s^2. As for the throwers they have to deal with power, work, force, and distance. The throwers throws the shotput 20 meters in 4 seconds and we know he did it with 25 Newtons of force. Using W=Fd we can find that after substituting W=(25N)(20m), the thrower used 500 joules of energy. With P=W/t we can find that his power was 6.25 Watts in total. Finally we have he hurdlers who have to jump off the ground just enough to get over the hurdle. They need to know height, force, and velocity. The height of a hurdle is roughly 1 meter and the hurdler is 50 kg. Using what we know, we can find the hurdler's velocity to jump over the hurdle. Substituting into the equation Vf^2=Vi^2+2ad gets us Vf^2=(0)+2(9.81m/s^2)(1m) which ends up becoming a final velocity of 4.43 m/s to jump above the hurdle. There is a lot of physics in many sports, and track incorporates many with all of its different events.


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