100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know About Sport

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From the author of 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know, a companion volume perfectly timed for the Olympic Games.
 
What can maths tell us about sports?
 
100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know About Sport sheds light on the mysteries of running, jumping, swimming and points scoring across the whole sporting spectrum. Whether you are a...
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Overview

From the author of 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know, a companion volume perfectly timed for the Olympic Games.
 
What can maths tell us about sports?
 
100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know About Sport sheds light on the mysteries of running, jumping, swimming and points scoring across the whole sporting spectrum. Whether you are a competitor striving to go faster or higher, or an armchair enthusiast wanting to understand more, this is a fascinating read with one hundred short pieces that range across a wide number of sports. Find out:
 
- Why high-jumpers use the Fosbury Flop
- How fast Usain Bolt can ultimately run and how he could break his records without running any faster
- Whether there is a limit to human performance
- Who the strongest man or woman is, pound for pound
- Why there are so many different scoring systems in sport
- If a 100-kilogram mass weighs more in London than it does in Singapore
- What the best strategy for taking football penalties is
- What the effect of those banned skin-tight swimsuits are
- Why golf balls are dimpled
- And last, but not least, why does the bounce of a Superball seem to defy Newton's laws of motion
 
Written for anyone interested in sport or simple maths, this book will enrich your understanding of sport and enliven your appreciation of maths.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847921642
  • Publisher: Random House UK
  • Publication date: 4/9/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.12 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN D. BARROW is Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University, Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the current Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London. He is the bestselling author of 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know.
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Table of Contents

Preface xv

1 How Usain Bolt Could Break His World Record With No Extra Effort 1

2 All-rounders 4

3 The Archers 5

4 The Flaw of Averages 8

5 Going Round the Bend 10

6 A Question of Balance 13

7 Anyone for Baseball, Tennis or Cricket? 16

8 Bayes Watch 18

9 Best of Three 21

10 High Jumping 23

11 Having the Right Birthday 26

12 Air Time 27

13 Kayaking 29

14 Do You Need a Cox? 32

15 On the Cards 35

16 Wheels on Fire 38

17 Points Scoring 40

18 Diving 45

19 The Most Extreme Sport of All 48

20 Slip Slidin' Away 50

21 Gender Studies 53

22 Physics for Ground Staff 56

23 What Goes Up Must Come Down 58

24 Left-handers versus Right-handers 62

25 Ultimate Pole-vaulting 64

26 The Return of the Karate Kid 67

27 Leverage 69

28 Reach for the Sky 72

29 The Marathon 75

30 All That Glitters Is Not Gold 79

31 Don't Blink First 81

32 Ping-pong is Coming Home 83

33 A Walk on the Wild Side 86

34 Racing Certainties 90

35 What is the Chance of Being Disqualified? 92

36 Rowing Has Its Moments 94

37 Rugby and Relativity 98

38 Run Rates 100

39 Squash - A Very Peculiar Practice 103

40 Faking It 106

41 A Sense of Proportion 109

42 Cushioning the Blow 112

43 Breaststrokers 114

44 That Crucial Point 118

45 Throwin' in the Wind 120

46 The Two-headed League 123

47 What a Racket 125

48 Size Matters 128

49 A Truly Weird Football Match 131

50 Twisting and Turning 133

51 The Wayward Wind 135

52 Windsurfing 139

53 Winning Medals 143

54 Why Are There Never World Records in Women's Athletics? 146

55 The Zigzag Run 149

56 Cinderella Sports 151

57 Wheelchair Racing 153

58 The Equitempered Triathlon 157

59 The Madness of Crowds 160

60 Hydrophobic Polyurethane Swimsuits

61 Modern Pentathlon 165

62 Keeping Cool 168

63 Wheelchair Speeds 171

64 The War on Error 175

65 Matters of Gravity 178

66 Googling in the Caribbean 180

67 The Ice-skating Paradox 184

68 Throwing the Discus 187

69 Goal Differences 190

70 Is the Premier League Random? 194

71 Fancy Kit - Does It Help? 197

72 Triangles in the Water 200

73 The Illusion of Floating 203

74 The Anti-Matthew Effect 206

75 Seeding Tournaments 209

76 Fixing Tournaments 211

77 Wind-assisted Marathons 212

78 Going Uphill 215

79 Psychological Momentum 218

80 Goals, Goals, Goals 221

81 Total Immersion 223

82 The Great British Football Team 227

83 Strange But True 231

84 Blade Runner 234

85 Pairing People Up 237

86 Ticket Touts 239

87 Skydiving 241

88 Running High 244

89 The Archer's Paradox 247

90 Bend It Like Beckham 251

91 Stop-go Tactics 255

92 Diving is a Gas 257

93 Spring is in the Air 259

94 The Toss of the Coin 262

95 What Sports Should Be in the Olympics? 265

96 The Cat Paradox 267

97 Things That Fly Through the Air With the Greatest of Ease 270

98 Some Like It Hot 273

99 The Bounce of the Superball 276

100 Thinking Inside the Box 280

Notes 283

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