Mathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things About the World of Sports

Overview

An entertaining, eye-opening guide to what math and physics can reveal about sports.
How can sprinter Usain Bolt break his world record without expending any additional effort? Which demands a faster reaction time, tennis or baseball? What dates of birth give rise to the best professional athletes? Is it better to have the inside or outside lane during a race? And how can you improve your balance just by changing your posture? Drawing on vivid, real-life examples, John D. Barrow...

See more details below
Hardcover
$19.92
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$26.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $4.12   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
Mathletics: 100 Amazing Things You Didn't Know about the World of Sports

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 38%)$16.95 List Price

Overview

An entertaining, eye-opening guide to what math and physics can reveal about sports.
How can sprinter Usain Bolt break his world record without expending any additional effort? Which demands a faster reaction time, tennis or baseball? What dates of birth give rise to the best professional athletes? Is it better to have the inside or outside lane during a race? And how can you improve your balance just by changing your posture? Drawing on vivid, real-life examples, John D. Barrow shows how math and physics can give us surprising, often counterintuitive insights into the world of sports. For example, we learn that left-handed boxers have a statistical advantage over their right-handed opponents and that gymnasts performing the “giant swing” maneuver on the high bar experience stronger g-forces than roller-coaster designers are allowed to create. Thanks to lucid explanations and a healthy dose of humor, Mathletics is the perfect book for sports enthusiasts and math lovers alike.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Barrow delivers the math and science goods for every sports fan who’s ever wondered how to “Bend It Like Beckham” or what the best positions are to reduce air resistance while sky-diving. The book contains 100 short essays explaining a variety of sports-related topics, such as various applications of statistics, the physics of wheelchair racing, how different scoring methods affect the outcome of multievent sports like the decathlon, and how a new rule led to “the most bizarre soccer match ever played.” There’s no formal organization, so the two-to-five-page-long essays are perfect for dipping into at the reader’s whim. One moment Barrow is elucidating how organizations use math to determine tournament seeds, the next he’s calculating whether runner and double amputee Oscar Pistorius’s artificial limbs give him an advantage in sprinting events. Not everything is about math, however. Essays on Olympic trivia reveal that the marathon’s distance wasn’t standardized until 1921. Barrow’s writing is accessible and entertaining, just the thing for mathematically minded sports fans. 40 illus. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Entertaining deconstruction of the mathematics of sports. To enjoy this book, readers need only a basic knowledge of high school math, even when Barrow (Mathematical Sciences/Cambridge Univ.; The Book of Universes: Exploring the Limits of the Cosmos, 2011, etc.) discusses more complicated subjects such as probabilities. He shows how the relationship between time and distance determines the best strategy for kicking the ball in rugby or soccer. Turning to track and field, Barrow speculates that in order to top his world-record 100-meter time, sprinter Usain Bolt could reduce his reaction time, but an even better bet would be to race on a high-altitude track in Mexico City while getting an assist from a high tailwind. The author explains why runners, given a choice, don't select either the inside position on a circular track, even though it is the shortest distance, or the outside, with its gentler curve, because they want to gauge the speed of the runners on either side. Barrow also investigates Cold War politics to discover why female world records in Olympic track and field competitions have remained static in recent years. The answer can be found in the practices of the East German Stasi, who systematically dosed their athletes with anabolic steroids. While random testing is now routine for Olympic athletes, there is no random testing of U.S. baseball players, despite evidence of steroid use. The author explains that existing tests are not considered to be sufficiently precise. Using hypothetical examples, Barrow introduces the fundamentals of statistics and the application of Bayes' theorem to conditional probabilities, and he includes discussions of skydiving, rowing, triathlons and water polo, among other athletic endeavors. An illuminating mix for sports fans and math buffs looking to hone their skills.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393063417
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/18/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,440,691
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John D. Barrow is a professor of mathematical sciences and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is known internationally for his research in cosmology and for his popular science writing. He lives in Cambridge, England.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)