Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Nothing says fun to physicists and mathematicians like baseball - it's the perfect sport for the numbers-oriented crowd, and because it's the only game where the defense has the ball, it's ideally suited for the rebel mentality.

With baseball playoffs heating up and the World Series right around the corner, it's guaranteed that fans will see daring slides, both feet-first and head-first, and even slides on bang-bang plays at first. But the eternal question has always been, who gets there faster, the head-first slider or the feet-first?

The heads first player, says David A. Peters, Ph.D., the McDonnell Douglas Professor of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, and big-time baseball fan. He says it's a matter of the player's center of gravity.