Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physics can improve your football

23.05.2006


As the World Cup draws closer and football fever starts to take over, physicist Nick Linthorne has found out how players like Gary Neville can achieve the perfect long throw-in, which could be crucial in setting up a goal for the England squad. An article, A new angle on throwing, in the June edition of Physics World, describes how the physics of projectiles can be used to calculate the optimum angle at which a ball needs to be released to achieve the longest possible throw-in. The article describes how the optimum angle is much less than physicists previously believed.



When a player takes a long throw-in, they want the ball to travel as far as possible. The distance a ball travels when it is thrown depends on both the speed at which it is released and the launch angle. According to the laws of basic physics, a simple projectile will travel furthest when launched at an angle of 45 degrees.

However, this approach assumes that the launch speed is independent of the launch angle. New research, however, has found out that this is not true in practice, as when most footballers take a throw-in they use shallower angles nearer 30 degrees. This is because the muscles in a player’s arms and back allow more horizontal than vertical force to be exerted on the ball when it is released.


Dr Nick Linthorne, a physics lecturer and researcher at Brunel University, and his student David Everett came to this conclusion after taking video footage of two players performing throw-ins at a variety of angles. They then used computer software to measure the different ball speeds and angles in the video.

Dr Linthorne said “To calculate the optimum angle at which to launch the ball, we first derived an expression from the video data, linking the release speed to the release angle. This expression for release speed was then substituted into the physics equation for the range of a projectile. By plotting a graph for the range versus several angles, we were able to calculate the optimum angle of release to be 30 degrees. Of course the angle will vary for each player, as they have different strengths, but for most players the optimum launch angle is calculated to be between 25 and 30 degrees, which agrees with what we see from players on the pitch.”

How far a ball travels when a player takes a throw-in depends on other factors such as the player’s limb lengths and muscle strengths and most players use trial and error to work out the best angle for them. This formula explains the physics behind what they practise and why it works. No doubt there will be many other moves seen on the pitch this summer such as curving free kicks that can also be explained by physics.

Helen MacBain | alfa
Further information:
http://physicsweb.org/dl/PWJUNE06linthorne.pdf
http://www.iop.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht APEX takes a glimpse into the heart of darkness
25.05.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

nachricht First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>