Monday, September 20, 2010

The Physics of Cheating in Baseball

{Don't miss casting your vote for the most attractive female physicist}

No, this is not about steroid use, which we've already looked into. This manuscript is more on the mechanical/material aspect of cheating in baseball, namely (i) the use of corked bats, (ii) is the ball livelier than before, and (iii) would storing the ball in a controlled environment makes a difference.

Abstract: Three separate questions of relevance to Major League Baseball are investigated from a physics perspective. First, can a baseball be hit farther with a corked bat? Second, is there evidence that the baseball is more lively today than in earlier years? Third, can storing baseballs in a temperature- or humidity-controlled environment significantly affect home run production? Each of these questions is subjected to a physics analysis, including an experiment, an interpretation of the data, and a definitive answer. The answers to the three questions are no, no, and yes.

Rather interesting reading.


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