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Gold Medal Physics

, 232 pages

36 b&w photos, 34 b&w illus.

December 2009



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Gold Medal Physics

The Science of Sports

Nothing is quite as thrilling as watching superior athletes do the seemingly impossible. From Doug Flutie's "Hail Mary" pass to Lance Armstrong's record-breaking climb of Alp d'Huez to David Beckham's astounding ability to bend a soccer kick, we marvel and wonder, "How did they do that?" Well, physics professor John Eric Goff has the answers.

This tour of the wide world of sports uses some of the most exhilarating feats in recent athletic history to make basic physics concepts accessible and fun. Goff discusses the science behind American football, soccer, cycling, skating, diving, long jumping, and a host of other competitive sports. Using elite athletes such as Greg Louganis and Bob Beamon as starting points, he explains in clear, lively language the basic physical properties involved in amazing and everyday athletic endeavors. Accompanied by illustrations and mathematical equations, each chapter builds on knowledge imparted in earlier portions of the book to provide a firm understanding of the concepts involved.

Fun, witty, and imbued throughout with admiration for the simple beauty of physics, Gold Medal Physics is sure to inspire readers to think differently about the next sporting event they watch.

John Eric Goff is an associate professor of physics and chair of the physics department at Lynchburg College.

"Goff... is more than comfortable analyzing a variety of feats of physical prowess... Sports fans with a knowledge of geometry and trigonometry will enjoy Goff's cheerful revisiting of memorable athletic events."

"A lively, pleasant read with plenty of real physics and mathematical details."

"Sports libraries will find this engrossing."

"How athletes, Olympian and otherwise, perform some of their most amazing physical feats."

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