Cover image for The physics of baseball
Title:
The physics of baseball
Author:
Adair, Robert Kemp.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper & Row, [1990]

©1990
Physical Description:
xiv, 110 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060551889

9780060964610
Format :
Book

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QC26 .A23 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

A "fascinating and irresistible" ("New York Times Book Review") look at the science behind America's favorite pastime, complete with charts and graphs, baseball lore, and anecdotes about famous players. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

YA --An exceptional volume about some of the physical principles involved in the game of baseball. The flight of the ball, pitching, batting, and the properties of bats are discussed in nontechnical language that can be understood by young adults familiar with introductory physics. Short chapters, which include clear and helpful diagrams, each conclude with technical notes that can be skipped or studied closely, depending on readers' interests. Baseball players or fans and budding physicists should be intrigued by Adair's explanations of the effect of the stitching on the distance the ball travels, of the relative merits of wooden and aluminum bats, and of why spitting on the ball does make a difference. This is a book that makes science real, relevant, and fun without being gimmicky or overly simplistic. --Jane Hanley Greene, Prince George's County Memorial Lib . System, Hyattsville, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

As the realm of theoretical physics has moved further and further beyond everyday experience, innumerable books have been written by physicists attempting to render their discipline intelligible to the layperson. This little volume offers a refreshing counterpoint to those works, as a physicist examines an apparently far more mundane matter--baseball--and in the process demonstrates how a curve ball can teach quite a lot about the laws of our universe. Written at the request of the author's former Yale colleague, the late Commissioner of Baseball Bart Giamatti, this study analyzes such elements of the game as, for example, the longest distance a ball can be hit by a batter under given atmospheric conditions, or the efficacy of an illegally "corked" bat. Adair describes his work as "written for fun," quickly acknowledging that baseball cannot be reduced to laws of mechanics alone. A serious fan of the game, he addresses his book to baseball devotees rather than physics students, with formulae and detailed analysis kept to a minimum. Nevertheless, as a physics educator he has unavoidably produced an entertaining illustration of the physics of everyday life, one which teachers of introductory physics at the secondary and undergraduate levels should consider adding to their syllabi. Professional ballplayers, Adair admits, might find a study of the mechanics of action one of the "least useful" methods of improving their performance. Perhaps so--but almost anyone else interested in either baseball or physics should find this a pleasant read. L. W. Moore University of Kentucky


School Library Journal Review

YA --An exceptional volume about some of the physical principles involved in the game of baseball. The flight of the ball, pitching, batting, and the properties of bats are discussed in nontechnical language that can be understood by young adults familiar with introductory physics. Short chapters, which include clear and helpful diagrams, each conclude with technical notes that can be skipped or studied closely, depending on readers' interests. Baseball players or fans and budding physicists should be intrigued by Adair's explanations of the effect of the stitching on the distance the ball travels, of the relative merits of wooden and aluminum bats, and of why spitting on the ball does make a difference. This is a book that makes science real, relevant, and fun without being gimmicky or overly simplistic. --Jane Hanley Greene, Prince George's County Memorial Lib . System, Hyattsville, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

As the realm of theoretical physics has moved further and further beyond everyday experience, innumerable books have been written by physicists attempting to render their discipline intelligible to the layperson. This little volume offers a refreshing counterpoint to those works, as a physicist examines an apparently far more mundane matter--baseball--and in the process demonstrates how a curve ball can teach quite a lot about the laws of our universe. Written at the request of the author's former Yale colleague, the late Commissioner of Baseball Bart Giamatti, this study analyzes such elements of the game as, for example, the longest distance a ball can be hit by a batter under given atmospheric conditions, or the efficacy of an illegally "corked" bat. Adair describes his work as "written for fun," quickly acknowledging that baseball cannot be reduced to laws of mechanics alone. A serious fan of the game, he addresses his book to baseball devotees rather than physics students, with formulae and detailed analysis kept to a minimum. Nevertheless, as a physics educator he has unavoidably produced an entertaining illustration of the physics of everyday life, one which teachers of introductory physics at the secondary and undergraduate levels should consider adding to their syllabi. Professional ballplayers, Adair admits, might find a study of the mechanics of action one of the "least useful" methods of improving their performance. Perhaps so--but almost anyone else interested in either baseball or physics should find this a pleasant read. L. W. Moore University of Kentucky