Cool science articles football

By Kathiann Kowalski. February 22, at am.

Sports Science

Two football players collide on the field. Both are wearing helmets. Still, their heads bang together, risking serious injury. Key to its advantage: three layers of energy-absorbing insulation. Most helmets today offer just a single layer. A blow to the head sends waves of kinetic Ki-NET-ik energy through the skull and into the brain. Kinetic energy is the energy of motion.

Hitting the egg could crack its shell.

American Football vs Rugby - Best Comparison Ever Seen

But the impulse of kinetic energy might also send the egg flying. So parts of the brain can crash against the inside of the skull. Bike helmets are made to crush, or deform, on impact. That action absorbs a good deal of the kinetic energy.

Afterward, however, the helmet must be thrown out. And helmets for those sports do a poor job of cutting down on that kinetic energy, says Arruda. The overall goal of the program is to provide better protection from brain injuries. The Michigan team focused first on the head, which is where the damage occurs. Understanding the movement and the factors that cause it led her team to its three-layered design.

Next the team picked out polymers. Like elastic, this material bounces back to its original shape after something deforms it. Unlike regular elastic, however, the material returns to that shape slowly. The memory foam in some mattresses and pillows is an example of this type of material.

As the material changes form and recovers, it sheds some of its kinetic energy. This means that in a helmet, less of that energy would get through to the head. How much less depends on the specific type of polymer. It also depends on the frequency, or wavelength, of the impulse. Instead, the impulse spreads across the helmet and into the head at a range of frequencies.

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As in standard helmets, the outer two layers absorb a good deal of the force of an impact. Basically, they soften the blow. Those layers also work together to change the group of frequencies from an impact into just one frequency. The frequencies bounce between those two layers. Compared to other helmets, only one-fifth of the kinetic energy from an impact made it through to the head. The team described its results in the December issue of the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids.

The design is now one of five finalists in the Head Health Challenge competition. Over the next year, the team will do more work to further improve its design. For instance, the group plans to experiment with other polymers. That means athletes at any age could benefit if they play any contact sport, such as rugby or soccer.Sports aren't just for jocks. LiveScience delves into the psychology, physiology and physics of sports, from new studies in sports medicine to news about professional athletes and information for weekend warriors.

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Why don't Olympic skiers break theirs? The Olympics are designed to test elite athleticism, at least in the human realm. But what about the animal world? How would arctic foxes fair in the Winter Olympics, or snowy owls for that matter? Boaters, cruising off the coast of Hawaii, came across what looked like a giant, used tissue floating in the water. The mental preparations figure skaters must go through to spin at Olympic levels without dizzily toppling over are at least as intense as their physical workouts.

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The evidence that football leads to brain injury is mounting, but there are two big reasons why it's not likely to change anytime soon. Live Science. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. When it comes to human pathogens, norovirus gets the gold. What's the story behind South Korea's Olympic mascots?

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cool science articles football

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See all comments 0. No comments yet Comment from the forums.Science fairs give students the opportunity to showcase their creativity. They should also give students the chance to highlight the science behind their favorite activities, whether it be playing a musical instrument, competing in a sport or playing video games.

For instance, students who play or watch football can craft many science fair projects based on the science involved in football. If done well, these projects can cover everything from physics to probability to health. Football placekickers can kick footballs through goalposts that sometimes stand more than 50 yards away.

How can they do this? Sure, it takes years of practice to become a top field goal kicker in the NFL.

cool science articles football

But are some great kickers simply born with the right tools? Does having a larger foot help players boot the ball greater distances? Students can test this by setting up a kicking area for science fair visitors. Before every kick, visitors must state their shoe size.

They then kick the ball past preset distance markers. Students then chart the results. At the end of their fair, they can analyze the data to determine if big feet equal big kicks.

How do extreme cold temperatures affect the flight of a football? How about when it's kicked? Students can find out at their local science fair. This experiment requires several footballs and a portable freezer or refrigerator with a freezer attached. Before the fair, students can chill footballs to several different temperatures. During the fair, they can invite students to kick and throw both chilled balls and non-chilled ones past distance markers.

As the fair nears its end, students can chart the results to see what impact, if any, cold temperatures had on the flight of their footballs. Football is a violent game, with large players constantly slamming into each other. What impact does this have on the health of football players? Does playing the game cause serious injuries, such as brain damage?

cool science articles football

Students can chart the brain injuries that professional football players have suffered during and after their careers. They can then compare the rate of serious brain injuries with the rate for the general population and the rates for other professional athletes such as soccer, hockey or basketball stars. Don Rafner has been writing professionally sincewith work published in "The Washington Post," "Chicago Tribune," "Phoenix Magazine" and several trade magazines. He is also the managing editor of "Midwest Real Estate News.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Illinois. Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. See disclaimer.

cool science articles football

Explore this article Big Foot, Big Kick? Brain Damage And Physical Contact.Passing, blocking, running, tackling, kicking--the main physical actions of American football illustrate several fundamental concepts in physics, biomechanics and math.

Inertia, momentum, vectors and parabolas are as much a part of the game as helmets and huddles. When is a straight line not the shortest distance between two points?

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How many pounds of water does an NFL player lose on the field? Why has soccer-style placekicking replaced the straight-ahead, toe style? How much energy does it take to stop a running back? When it comes to a chase, how are ball carriers like zebras? The real kind, not the ones with a whistle and yellow flag in their pockets. What shapes fly best? So next weekend, when you are watching your favorite team square off with the opponent, you might have a chance to say the vector of the prolate spheroid perfectly traced a planned parabolic trajectory.

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