Mathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things About Sport by John D. BarrowMathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things About Sport by John D. Barrow

Mathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things About Sport

byJohn D. Barrow

Paperback | September 2, 2013

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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.
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. His principal area of scientific research is cosmology, and he is the ...
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Title:Mathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things About SportFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 7.8 × 5.1 × 0.94 inPublished:September 2, 2013Publisher:Random House UKLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0099584239

ISBN - 13:9780099584230

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable But with Many Frustrations In this book, the author describes various sports, including a great many from the Olympics, and proceeds to analyze them using physical and mathematical principles. Many of these analyses focus on the physical performance of the given sport, others on the scoring system and yet a few others on winning strategies. A few chapters address less sports-like events such as coin flipping, probability, psychology, etc. Having read the author’s excellent “100 Essential Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know”, I was eagerly expecting more of the same in this book but with a sports-related twist. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. On the positive side, there are many interesting sports details discussed in this book – especially about Olympic events. Consequently, I learned much about the various Olympic sports, as well as a bit on their history. Also, many of the physical/mathematical analyses are as interesting as I had hoped and were a great pleasure to read. Finally, the author’s writing style is very friendly, chatty, lively and generally accessible. On the negative side, the book contains too many errors, omissions, erroneous labelling of diagrams, incomplete/misleading diagrams and some rather unclear descriptions. Taken together, I found these to be extremely frustrating. Also, I must agree with a prior reviewer who pointed out that some rather British sports - predominantly rugby and cricket - are discussed with the assumption that the reader knows all about them: terminology, rules, etc. For North American readers like me, this is not necessarily the case. In retrospect, it almost appears as though the book was rushed into print without proper editing. The author often mentions the “future” London 2012 Olympics. Perhaps there was pressure to publish the book early enough in 2012 (before the Olympics) to boost sales at the expense of adequate editorial review (?) A book such as this is usually of immense interest to math enthusiasts, like me, who love seeing basic mathematics applied to real-world situations – in this case, sports. Despite the above shortcomings, the book (at least good parts of it) can still be enjoyed as long as the reader is aware of possible frustrations due to the mistakes noted above. I gave the book the above (possibly overly generous) score by focussing on its positive aspects and as an expression of my appreciation for books of this type.
Date published: 2013-09-27