Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Faster, higher, further: the role of materials technology in sporting performance at the BA Festival of Science

08.09.2006
How can cyclists go faster, pole vaulters go higher and golfers hit the ball further? Being fitter and stronger obviously helps, but what about the effect of engineering, technology and the materials science used to create the latest sports equipment?

“There are always new improvements being introduced into sport,” says Dr Claire Davis, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. “While most changes are incremental in nature, major step changes in performance and safety have occurred when new materials are introduced. For example the pole used in pole vaulting has changed from solid wood to bamboo to aluminium and now glass or carbon fibre composite materials constitute the poles of choice.”

“Some of the latest materials developments, include so called ‘smart materials’, such as piezoelectric ceramics. These develop an electric voltage when stressed and can be used in active damping systems for skiers and tennis players, with the aim of minimising injuries and improving performance.”

Dr Davis will make her comments as part of the BA Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture – ‘The role of materials technology in sporting performance’, an event at the BA Festival of Science. The Festival is taking place in Norwich from 2-9 September and will bring together over 300 of the UK’s top scientists and engineers to discuss the latest scientific developments with the public.

Dr Davis will investigate the influence of equipment design and raw materials on various aspects of sporting performance and discuss the ‘technology gap’ that has arisen between developed and developing nations. She will also highlight the potential for British sporting success at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics in the technology-driven sports at which the nation has traditionally excelled (for example: cycling, sailing and rowing).

Dr Davis will also consider technological developments in cycling, golf and tennis, where the changing materials and design of rackets has increased the speed and power of serves but caused audience dissatisfaction by reducing the length of rallys at tournaments played on fast surfaces, such as grass at Wimbledon.

The opportunity to present a popular and prestigious BA award lecture at the Festival of Science is offered to five outstanding communicators each year. The award lectures aim to promote open and informed discussion on issues involving science and actively encourage young scientists to explore the social aspects of their research, providing them with reward and recognition for doing so.

In addition to lectures and debates at the University of East Anglia, the Festival will also feature a host of events throughout Norwich as part of the Science in the City programme.

This year’s Festival is supported by the University of East Anglia, the East of England Development Agency and Microsoft Research. The Press Centre is sponsored by AstraZeneca.

For further information on the BA Festival of Science, visit www.the-ba.net/festivalofscience.

Lisa Hendry | alfa
Further information:
http://www.the-ba.net/festivalofscience

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires
07.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>