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Non-Forum Series: “Football Physics” by Dr. Timothy Gay

Thursday, April 15, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT

Dr. Timothy Gay will present “Football Physics” as part of our Non-Forum Series for the Spring 2021 semester.

Join us on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 12 p.m (Noon). via Zoom. There is no formal registration. 

Talk Description:

This talk discusses a series of one-minute physics lectures given to the ~ 9 x 104 fans that attend the University of Nebraska home football games. Lecture topics have included Newton’s Laws of Motion (blocking and tackling), projectile motion (kicking and punting), kinematics (open-field running), and the ideal gas law (why not fill the football with helium to get better hangtime?). Laboratory demonstrations have featured Professor Gay being tackled by a 370-pound lineman, pummeled with a sledgehammer as he lies on a bed of nails, and learning the finer points of passing from Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch. The problem of simultaneous edification and amusement of the fan in the stands is considered. Dr. Gay’s visit is in partnership with Sigma Xi and the American Chemical Society.


Timothy Gay is the Willa Cather Professor of Physics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).  After growing up in the small farming town of Pleasant Hill, Ohio, he attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and received his B.S. degree in physics from Caltech in 1975.  He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in experimental atomic physics in 1980 and held a postdoctoral appointment at Yale University in nuclear and atomic physics before joining the faculty of the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 1983.  Gay moved to UNL in 1993.  He has published over 100 refereed scientific papers and has been the PI on over $7M of research grants in the area of atomic, molecular, and optical physics. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and served as the Speaker of the APS Council in 2018. 

Dr. Gay’s visit is in partnership with Sigma Xi and the American Chemical Society.


Thursday, April 15, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT
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Rockford University
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108 United States
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