## Mathematics

Math is the abstract science of number, quantity, and space. Sports ‘n Science focuses particularly on applied mathematics, which is how math is applied to other disciplines such as physics and engineering.

## Getting Punting Down to a Science

Executing the best punt in football is not as easy as it looks. Understanding the math and physics behind this under-appreciated skill will help any football fan from taking it for granted.

###### Learn the basics of punting.

Articles by Kenny Morley.

## From Tee to Fairway: How Physics Affects the Drive, the Club, and the Golf Ball

When a player exerts force on the golf ball, he/she swings an average of 4-5 miles per hour. If the player uses a club with a flexible shaft, the act of swinging adds an additional measure of torque as the head of the club also propels forward to connect with the ball. The head of the club has grooves that increase the friction between the club and the ball, allowing the club to more effectively focus the area of contact.

The optimal angle to hit the ball ranges from about 12 to 20 degrees. Putting a backspin on the ball increases lift and can add significant distance to the drive. The dimples on the golf ball itself help reduce drag from the air stream by reducing turbulent air pressure around and behind the ball, shifting the wake further behind the ball, thus allowing for smoother, less resistant flight. Any combination of these variables contributes to how well the ball overcomes the forces of gravity and air resistance.

###### Learn the basics of how physics affects golf or read the more technical details here.

Articles by Trevor Stoddard.

## Understanding Head Injuries Through Biomechanics and Math

In biomechanics, systems in motion — such as the impact of a ball on a player’s head — are described or “modeled” by mathematical differential equations. For example, these equations can show the relationship between the acceleration or force of the ball to the head at impact, and the change in shape of brain tissue in response to that form. The solution to these equations provides information that could be used to establish new safety regulations or adequate sports gear for players.

Current studies show that heading the ball may not be as much of a concern as physicians and parents thought, although it is not fully understood how repetitive head shooting, through many years of play, affects players. Further research will continue to help treat and prevent injuries, and improve athlete performance through individualized coaching.

###### Learn more about the basics of head injuries and biomechanics or read the more technical mathematical explanation.

Articles by Cristian Clavijo.