The Physics of Sports

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The Physics of Sports
Science Course
Course CodePHSP
Year Opened2013
Sites OfferedLAN
Previously OfferedBRI, SCZ, SUN
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Course Description

From the CTY Summer Catalog:

How does a pitcher get a baseball to curve in flight? Why does an ice skater spin faster when she pulls her arms in? How can Tony Hawk land a “900,” a trick involving the completion of two-and-a-half aerial revolutions on a skateboard? Physics holds the key to answering these and other fascinating sports questions.

In this introductory physics course, students use sports to explore mechanics: kinematics, dynamics, momentum, energy, and power. You’ll experiment with billiard balls to investigate collisions and conservation of momentum, study centripetal forces to determine how fast a racecar can take a turn, and use kinematics and projectile motion to discover the best angle from which to shoot a basketball. You and your classmates will explore the real-world applications of physics concepts in sports through lectures, hands-on activities, labs, simulations, mathematical problem sets, and research projects. Along the way, you’ll develop a strong understanding of the principles that give star athletes an edge over their competitors.