DPA on the net, June 19, 2012
Disputed goals are a major headache in professional football. This case study looks at one particular type where a ball, bouncing on the ground after its impact with the crossbar, spins back into play. An experimental rig was used to derive the critical parameters for this behaviour and [Mathcad] mathematical modelling confirms how easily such events can occur in practice.
Dr Ken Bray, a theoretical physicist and a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Engineering and Design at the University of Bath, UK. He has made a special study of the mathematics of football and the factors affecting the ball’s flight, and has lectured, broadcast and published widely for both academic and general audiences. He has used Mathcad extensively in his researches, for example to calculate solutions to multiple differential equations covering the three-dimensional flight path of a football. He has also gone on record as saying that as much as 30 percent of a footballer’s technique is down to an intuitive understanding of maths and science (although they shouldn’t go anywhere near a computer!).
His book How to Score: Science and the Beautiful Game is published by Granta.