The physics of sport

17 November 2015

Tae kwon do and football were two of the sporting areas recently explored at W5 in Belfast.

The physics of sport

Robert Howard (7th Degree Master in Taekwondo) lectured over 200 pupils on the physics of martial arts. The lectures and demonstrations explained the physics behind the breaking of wood and tiles with tae kwon do hand and foot techniques.

Howard, who also has a PhD in physics, explained the concepts of velocity, momentum, force and energy, while at the same time checking if his physics is correct by smashing timber and tiles!

Meanwhile the speed with which students could kick a ball was being measured by Liz Conlon of IOPI, using a radar gun. The top speed of the day was 99 km/hour from a student at Royal School Dungannon.

Beyond football, students also had the opportunity to explore uses of radar and find out more about physics all around. While teachers had access to IOP’s new resource, Thinking on Your Feet – Physics and Football. This resource was developed in collaboration with Arsenal Football Club and explores eight physics activities linked to the beautiful game.

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