A classic depiction of the powers of ten, courtesy of NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day series – and IBM of 1977: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150324.html
I can’t believe I am writing another post about deflated footballs, but B sent me this link today from the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/sports/football/deflation-experiments-show-patriots-may-have-science-on-their-side-after-all.html Apparently, my rudimentary knowledge of physics coupled with practical experience with things like car tires is borne out by experimentation and advanced calculations!
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January: http://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/
Earlier this week, I wrote a post about how physics could explain the deflated footballs in the Patriots’ game on Sunday. I was just watching the evening news and saw coverage of a news conference given by the Patriots’ head coach, explaining that they did an experiment in which they re-created the temperature changes of last Sunday and found that the balls had their pressure drop one and a half psi when they were left outdoors at forty degrees after having been inflated to regulation 12.5 psi indoors.
Maybe the media and the NFL should have been reading my blog! 😉
Unlike the majority of people in the United States, I don’t care for or about football. However, it’s been impossible to watch a news broadcast without seeing reference to the footballs that the Patriots used on Sunday being underinflated with the implication that someone must have tampered with them after they were tested by the officials.
But isn’t it possible the culprit was physics?
I’m assuming that the balls were prepared indoors, in a warm room, with the minimum psi allowed. The balls would be properly inflated when they were checked a couple of hours before the game. If the balls were then immediately moved out into the cold, the pressure would have dropped, given that the temperature outdoors would be fifty to sixty degrees colder. Ideal gas law and all that….
It’s the same mechanism that means that the first cold snap of the year brings a call from Grandma that her low tire pressure indicator in her car is lighting up. It’s not that someone sneaked into the garage and let air out of the tires. It’s just that the lower temperature means the air in the tires is exerting less pressure.
If that is how it happened, I guess you could argue that the Patriots followed the letter of the law rather than the spirit, but I think many fans and media are jumping to conclusions about foul play without any real evidence.
Maybe they should be shaking their fists at science.
This post is part of Just Jot It January: click the link and join in! http://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/