Navigation Links
Physics confirms sprinters are performing better than ever before
Date:7/1/2012

In this month's Physics World, Steve Haake, director of the Centre for Sports Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, reveals that the men's 100 m sprint will be one event not to miss this summer.

Haake has developed something called the "performance-improvement index", which uses very simple physics to compare the relative improvement of top athletes in different sports over the last 100 years.

The model shows that the performance-improvement index in the men's 100 m sprint is increasing at a time when those of other events, such as javelin and swimming, have plateaued or decreased.

Some of the reasons for these changes, which Haake describes in this feature, are because of technological interventions that have changed the face of the sport. The performance of javelin throwers, for example, was improving drastically up until the mid-1980s, to a point where officials were concerned for crowd safety.

At the time, javelins would float to the ground and land flat, meaning it was very hard to tell where the tip had hit the ground. As such, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) changed the specifications of the javelin itself, moving its centre of mass towards the tip by 4 cm and so forcing the javelin to land on its tip, thus reducing throwing distances by about 9 m.

Haake also describes the step-change in the men's 100 m in the mid-1970s with the introduction of fully automated timing.

In swimming, an unprecedented 25 and 47 world records were broken in 2008 and 2009, respectively, with tight-fitting, full-body swimsuits seen as the main reason.

The swimsuits, which have now been banned by swimming's ruling body (FINA), were relatively tight and reduced the cross-sectional area of the body by pulling it into a more cylindrical shape, thus reducing drag. They were made from polyurethane, which also affected the way the water flowed over the body.

As Haake writes, "One way of finding out how exactly technology affects sporting performance is to examine the physics involved. We can then try to quantify the effect of technology on sporting events and find out whether it really is all about the equipment."

From Monday 9 July, this month's edition of Physics World will be freely available as a PDF download from http://physicsworld.com.

The Steve Haake feature, along with a selection of videos of him talking about the physics of running, swimming and cycling, can be viewed at http://physicsworld.com from Thursday 12 July.

Also in this issue:

  • The fastest man on no legs -- award-winning science writer James Poskett explores the stories behind the sports prostheses used by elite athletes such as double below-the-leg amputee Oscar Pistorius

  • Balance, angular momentum and sport -- "biomechanic" Roland Ennos from Manchester University explains how gymnasts, divers and long jumpers all use simple physics principles to perform amazing balancing acts


'/>"/>

Contact: Joe Winters
joseph.winters@iop.org
44-207-470-4815
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Young Scientist Award for Socio- and Econophysics 2012 for Arne Traulsen
2. T cells hunt parasites like animal predators seek prey, a Penn Vet-Penn Physics study reveals
3. The physics of going viral
4. Study confirms oil from Deepwater Horizon disaster entered food chain in the Gulf of Mexico
5. A study confirms that long commercials evoke stronger emotions
6. Cougars are re-populating their historical range, new study confirms
7. New avocado rootstocks are high-performing and disease-tolerant
8. New methods for better purification of wastewater
9. Breakthroughs in Chikungunya research from A*STAR spell new hope for better treatment and protection
10. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
11. Giant squids giant eyes: The better to see hungry whales with
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company that ... North America , today announced a Series B ... of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s ... to transform population health activities through the collection and ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has ... Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on ... . In addition, CHS previously earned a place ... an electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS ... of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to ... The ... a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach ... analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces expanded coverage of ... newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market for Hemostats and ... synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS estimates the market ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first ... eye at a time. So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance ... Plum Duo Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Tbilisi, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... disaster, taking the lives of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living ... the greenovative startup Treepex - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the ... won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to ... Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM ...
Breaking Biology Technology: