Colin White, University of Portsmouth, will describe how an appreciation of the physical processes involved in throwing, hitting, and kicking sports projectiles is essential for a full understanding of the science that underpins sport. In this informal and light-hearted presentation Colin will demonstrate, using a variety of sports equipment, a wide range of sports dynamic models. He will explore such concepts as:
· The ways in which friction, spin, drag, impact and bounce influence projectile path and the game
· Optimum rugby conversion and soccer penalty kicking strategies.
· How shot put range is affected by the sports stadium location, and even the direction of throw.
…and let us not forget:
· How to play tennis safely in the nude (essential for the enthusiastic sports naturist).
· The chances of survival should your parachute fail while in freefall (maybe even more essential).
· The best throwing technique to be used in competitive iPod throwing contests.
Sports players are often highly charged emotive beings and, as such, they seem particularly susceptible to a range of myths and legends surrounding their sport. A key aspect of this presentation will be to mathematically debunk some of these ‘perceived wisdoms’. Examples include:
· The ‘late swing’ of a cricket ball (no such thing).
· The reduction in range when shooting a ball into a headwind (usually the range will increase).
· The optimum impact point for a snooker cue onto the cue ball (seldom the centre).
· Balls can never bounce higher than they are dropped (oh, yes they can – if you are prepared to cheat a little).
Those who have seen Colin perform know that they are in for a presentation that is lively, informative, entertaining and stuffed with humorous anecdotes.
Colin White is one of the UK’s foremost authorities on sports projectile motion and modelling. Following a career in military ballistic modelling, he worked for ten years as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics; then latterly, as Principal Lecturer in the Department of Sport Science at the University of Portsmouth where he taught all aspects of sports equipment design, modelling and manufacture.
In August 2010 his book, Projectile Dynamics in Sport – Principles and Applications, was published by Routledge and is now considered the definitive authoritative text on all things that are kicked, hit or thrown into motion, in the name of sport. Colin has lectured, presented and otherwise performed to audiences of all ages, abilities and interests, and at a wide range of venues including presentations for radio and television. You can follow his ideas (occasionally relating to projectiles and sport) on twitter.com/whitec, and he would love you to read and respond on his BallsBlog