Basketball is a fast-moving game of improvisation, contact and, ahem, spatio-temporal pattern recognition. Rajiv Maheswaran and his colleagues are analyzing the movements behind the key plays of the game, to help coaches and players combine intuition with new data. Bonus: What they're learning could help us understand how humans move everywhere.
In 1997, Brazilian football player Roberto Carlos set up for a 35 meter free kick with no direct line to the goal. Carlos's shot sent the ball flying wide of the players, but just before going out of bounds it hooked to the left and soared into the net. How did he do it? Erez Garty describes the physics behind one of the most magnificent goals in the history of football.
When Dick Fosbury couldn't compete against the skilled high jumpers at his college, he tried jumping in a different way -- backwards. Fosbury improved his record immediately and continued to amaze the world with his new technique all the way to Olympic gold. Asaf Bar-Yosef explains the physics behind the success of the now dominant Fosbury Flop.
In the third act of "Swan Lake", the Black Swan pulls off a seemingly endless series of turns, bobbing up and down on one pointed foot and spinning around and around and around ... thirty-two times. How is this move — which is called a fouetté — even possible? Arleen Sugano unravels the physics of this famous ballet move.