About This Episode
It’s a materials world on StarTalk Sports Edition as Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly continue our “game-changers” mini-series. On this episode, our trio investigates material science and its impact on sports alongside engineer Jud Ready.
Besides being an engineer, Jud serves as the Deputy Director of Innovation Initiatives for the Georgia Tech ‘Institute for Materials’, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Materials Science & Engineering at Georgia Tech, and a Principal Research Engineer on the research faculty of Georgia Tech Research Institute. So, safe to say, we found the right person.
To start, we discuss the importance of the strength to weight ratio. Jud tells us about his work involving carbon nanotubes. We also discuss the differences between carbon nanotubes vs. carbon fiber. We investigate different types of track including mondotrack, asphalt, and concrete. You’ll hear why using a mondotrack literally makes it a level playing field.
We debate the idea of limiting technological advancements in sports. If we can use materials to make athletes run faster, jump higher, and be stronger – why limit that? Find out more about the “trampoline effect”. We investigate the current state of golf balls and how the materials used to make them have evolved since the invention of the game.
Lastly, we take a look at other advancements including the poles used for pole vaulting and “sharkskin” swimsuits. We also debate how we could make baseball better if the game allowed it. All that, plus, we ponder the future of electronic-based clothing.
NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.