Physics 1110 - The Physics of Sports

Instructor: Prof. Michael Lisa
Lectures: Tues and Thurs 12:45-2:05 in 1005 Smith Lab

Course syllabus

Course schedule

Complete course material available on Carmen

Physics 1110 examines the physics behind a wide variety of sports, including football, baseball, hockey, soccer, track and field, swimming, etc. We will see how scientific concepts such as force, momentum and energy give us a deeper understanding and appreciation of plays we watch or make on the field.

This is a course in physics; therefore, we will analyze sports mathematically. The scientific approach we follow involves mathematics at the basic algebra level. The focus is not on derivations of formulae, but on how they help us understand sports.

We analyze recent sporting events (including the Buckeyes, of course) and make extensive use of video footage. Students suggest video for study, and many students opt to perform a sports-related project in lieu of the final exam.

The hope is that you will leave this course with an improved qualitative understanding of the physics of sports, as well as an appreciation of how scientists apply models to the real world.