Physics Club - Timothy Gay, University of Nebraska, “The Physics of Football”

Event time: 
Monday, February 12, 2024 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Sloane Physics Laboratory (SPL), Room 57 See map
217 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

This talk is based on a series of one-minute physics lectures given to the ~ 9 x 10^4 fans that attend the University of Nebraska home football games. Lecture topics have included Newton’s Laws of Motion (blocking and tackling), the Ideal Gas Law (why not fill the football with helium to get better hangtime?), and projectile motion (kicking , punting, and passing). Particular attention will be paid to the problem of the tight spiral pass: why does the axis of the ball in this case maintain tangency with its line of trajectory? If time permits, I will also discuss questions related to the tactical advantages of football deflation, and the recent discovery by the American Public and Press that football is a violent game.

Host: Steve Lamoreaux (