October 14, 2014
The popular Saturday Morning Physics series of lectures has returned this fall with sports-focused presentations, inspired by the LSA Fall Theme Semester, Sport in the University.
The series opened Oct. 11 with the presentation "Dynamic Locomotion in Humans, Animals and Robots" by C. David Remy, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, College of Engineering. It continues Saturday with "The Physics of Baseball" by Timothy Chupp, professor of physics, LSA.
Chupp will explore the physics and physiology of baseball and other sports. Topics will include pitching, hitting, reaction time and the home run swing. Those who attend should be prepared to participate.
The lectures are typically scheduled from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Rooms 170 and 182 in the Dennison Building, 500 Church St. Myron Campbell, associate dean for natural sciences and professor of physics, LSA, organizes the series with Fred Adams, Ta-You Wu Collegiate Professor of Physics and professor of physics and astronomy, LSA.
Campbell says presenters embrace the chance to present their research to the general university public. "And for the audience, these presentations provide a unique insight into research that is going on at the university," he says.
Adams says the series, founded in the mid-1990s, attracts a large, faithful and informed audience. "Adding to the positive feedback, we also film the presentations, so that they are available to an even wider audience on the Web," he says.
Other presentations are:
• Oct. 25: "Measuring Your Technique to Improve Your Game," with Noel Perkins, Donald T. Greenwood Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, professor of mechanical engineering and associate chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, CoE. He will review a new wireless sensor technology that measures athletic performance and is being commercialized by companies through partnerships with the university.
• Nov. 1: Ryoji Ikeda's "superposition," a special event in conjunction with the University Musical Society, at 10:30 a.m. at the Power Center for the Performing Arts. Ikeda is joined by physicists Adam Frank, University of Rochester, New York, and founder of National Public Radio's "13.7 Cosmos & Culture" blog, and Anthony Aguirre, University of California, Santa Cruz. Superposition is about the way we understand nature on an atomic scale and is inspired by the mathematical notions of quantum mechanics.
• Nov. 8: "Responsible Environmentalism: A Physicist's Perspective," with Gregory Tarle, professor of physics, LSA. In an effort to promote responsible environmentalism, physics and data-driven methods will be used to evaluate policies that can result in a better world for our descendants.
• Nov. 15: "Icy Worlds of the Outer Solar System," with David Gerdes, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and professor of physics, LSA. Beyond Neptune lies a frigid region of the solar system called the Kuiper Belt. Gerdes will highlight the discovery this summer of several new trans-Neptunian objects by U-M undergraduates.
• Dec. 6: "Peering into the Atmospheres of Strange New Worlds," with Emily Rauscher, astronomy research fellow. In the last 20 years more than 1,500 planets have been discovered orbiting around nearby stars. Most are unlike anything in our solar system.
• Dec. 13: "The Mechanics of Running," with Daniel Ferris, professor of movement science and director of the Human Neuromechanics Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology, professor of biomedical engineering, CoE, and adjunct professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, Medical School. Despite centuries of research on human and animal running, a great deal is still unknown about the biomechanics of running. New studies have turned up surprising findings.