The Science of Football

A roundup of how scientists explain America’s most popular sport

Ryan Reed

Jocks may have a reputation for not being smart, but you'll find plenty of science in the sports they play. The National Science Foundation has teamed up with the NFL and NBC to produce a series of 10 short videos that find the science in football, available on and NBCLearn. The videos feature current and former NFL players, whose movements are caught with high-speed cameras and explained by engineers, physicists, mathematicians and other scientists. "Vectors," "Projectile Motion & Parabolas" (above) and "Nutrition, Hydration & Health" were released this week, and a new video will become available each week over the next seven weeks.

If that's not enough football science, more can be found through Scientific American, which has stories that include why coaches shouldn't be so wary of going for fourth downs, how one NFL draft pick ended up becoming an astronaut and how on-the-field injuries can have lasting repercussions. And if you want to learn about how a hit can cause those injuries, check out this story from Popular Mechanics.

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