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Baseball and Physics: "You Can Observe a Lot by Watching"

This event is sponsored by the Georgia Tech School of Physics as part of their Public Lecture Series and will be hosted by Paul Goldbart.

There are no social activities planned for this meetup yet. Leave a comment if you'd like to make some arrangements.

Consult this Google map for nearby parking options. The talk will be in room 152 of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons.

Baseball and Physics: "You Can Observe a Lot by Watching"
Alan Nathan, Professor of Physics
University of Illinois

Following Yogi Berra's advice, I will use high-speed video clips to highlight some of the interesting physics underlying the game of baseball. The talk will focus on two broad aspects of the game:  the physics of the baseball-bat collision and the flight of the baseball through the air. I will investigate some very practical questions and show how a  physicist goes about trying to answer these question.

Some examples: what is the "sweet spot" of a bat; how does the batter's grip affect the batted ball; why does aluminum outperform wood; how determines how far a fly travels; how much does a curve ball break; and why is Mariano Rivera such a great pitcher. My talk should have something for everybody, whether your interest is baseball, physics, or the connection between them.

About the Speaker
Alan Nathan has been a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois since 1977. His research specialty is experimental nuclear/particle physics, with over 80 publications in scientific journals to his credit. The focus of that research has been the use of Compton scattering experiments to elucidate the structure of nuclei and nucleons. He has been a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 1992.

In the past decade or so, he has expanded his research interests to include the physics of baseball and has published numerous papers in the scientific literature in this area.

Images courtesy of the University of Illinois.

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  • vaidehi

    What is the closest location to park the vehicle?
    Is it free parking?

    March 31, 2013

    • Marc M.

      The closest parking lot is labeled Student Center Parking Lot.

      March 31, 2013

    • vaidehi

      Thank you so much Marc. I am looking forward to this event. Thank you for organizing it.

      March 31, 2013


    Great and interesting!

    March 31, 2013

  • Loren

    Bringing 3 eleven-year-old baseball/math enthusiasts.

    March 3, 2013

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