Posted tagged ‘physics’

The Science of Football

September 10, 2010
The Science of Football

In this segment, NBC's Lester Holt looks at the role vectors play every time an NFL quarterback throws a pass.

Just in time for the start of the football season, scientists and sports stars are taking to the field with a 10-part video series that explains the physics and biology behind football.  Several sports stars play starring roles in the videos, including Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, Dolphins place kicker Dan Carpenter and former Saints running back Deuce McAllister. “When we can energize our students to learn through physical fitness and sports, it’s win-win for everyone,” McAllister said.

The scientists explaining the principles behind the game include physicists and engineers, a mathematician and a nutritionist. A high-speed Phantom camera captures the athletes’ movements at up to 2,000 frames per second to show Newton’s Laws of Motion at work. Each video has some lesson plans to via Lessonopoly.  Are you ready for some football physics….


World Cup Physics

June 22, 2010

Will altitude make a difference in the World Cup Soccer Tournament? A NASA aerospace engineer thinks so.  Rabi Mehta states that the differences in altitude between stadiums will affect the aerodynamics of the ball including drag and lift. Therefore the speed and accuracy of passing and goal shots will be altered. Teams that understand the difference altitude makes on the physics of the game can alter their strategy to help advance in tournament play. Because of the high altitude of the World Cup soccer stadium in South Africa, a crash course in physics may need to become part of the training regimen!

LHC Achieves First Particle Collisions

November 24, 2009


The endcap of the Compact Muon Solenoid at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Photo credit: Arpad Horvath

Restarted this past weekend, CERN announced yesterday that physicists used the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to smash protons together for the first time.  The collision occurred at low energy with each proton beam supplying 450 billion electron volts (GeV) creating a total of 900 GeV.  The next stage for the LHC will be to accelerate the proton beams to 1.2 teraelectron volts (TeV) each and collide the beam’s protons.  If achieved, this would be the highest energy level yet achieved by any particle accelerator.  European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) expects this next stage to occur sometime in the next few days before a planned winter break.


LHC Expected to Restart this Weekend

November 18, 2009
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After over a year of repairs the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has announced that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is expected to restart this weekend.  The restart has been delayed several times.  The last delay was due to problems with the LHC’s magnets.  The Large Hadron Collider was built by CERN with the intention of testing a variety of predictions within physics.  Such predictions include the existence of the hypothesized Higgs boson.

Large Hadron Collider Delayed

August 7, 2009
The endcap of the Compact=

The endcap of the Compact Muon Solenoid at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Photo credit: Arpad Horvath

The restart of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be delayed again.   The restart has been pushed back from October to November.    The LHC has been having problems with its magnets.  The magnets were trained to generate seven trillion electron volts, but have only been producing approximately four trillion volts.  The delay is necessary to determine at what energy level the LHC can run.  For more information, see ZDNet.

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Large Hadron Collider Restart Delayed

June 29, 2009
View of the tunnel LHC sector 1-2.  Photo Credit:  CERN/Maximilien Brice

View of the tunnel LHC sector 1-2. Photo Credit: CERN/Maximilien Brice

The world’s largest atom smasher will likely be restarted in October after further tests and safety precautions are put into place.  The LHC was to be restarted in September, but will be delayed 2-3 weeks.  The LHC was initially started on September 10, 2008, but was shut down 9 days later due to faulty wiring.  Once it is up and running again, it will start smashing hydrogen atoms together in order to better understand how the makeup of the universe.  For more information, check out the LHC website.

Work Begins on World’s Deepest Underground Lab

June 26, 2009

DUSEL at Homestake, SD.  Image Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

DUSEL at Homestake, SD. Image Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Below the Black Hills in South Dakota the world’s deepest underground lab is being built with two even deeper labs in the planning stages.  On Monday, June 22nd, construction began 4,850 feet below the Earth’s surface under the abandoned Homestake Gold Mine that was once the home of Nobel Prize-winning research in the 1960s.  The location is extremely desirable because it is thought to be too deep for interference from cosmic rays that would interfere with research on dark matter, although a number of scientific disciplines will use the labs.

The Large Underground Xenon Detector experiment, or LUX is scheduled to be the first dark matter experiment. It is a project to capture signals from WIMPs (weakly interactive massive particles), the substance of dark matter.  Detecting these particles could provide greater insight into the Big Bang.

For more information on this lab, see the Homestake DUSEL website and the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake website.