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Physics of Shot Put



The ancient practice of testing who can throw something the furthest still exists today. We know it today as the Olympic event of the shot put. Though some may think that the distance someone can throw a shot put is only determined by strength, this is not the case, much skill goes into this event. Firstly the throwers gain rotational kinetic energy before the throw by spinning around as they approach their throw. Rotational kinetic energy is defined by an equation such that rotational kinetic energy is proportional to angular velocity squared. Therefore by spinning before the trow can greatly increase the distance of a throwers distance on their throw. This energy is transferred to the shot put on its release. Also the throwers must be sure to maintain the perfect angle of 45 degrees as this will yield the farthest throw due to the fact that when a right triangle is formed, the longest base of the triangle is created when there is a 45 degree angle to the horizontal. This translates to a maximum distance for the thrower. Shot put is much more than just strength.

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