Physics & Fastballs: The Science of Baseball

Presented in partnership with the California Film Institute

Sunday, June 30, 2013 | 7:00 p.m.
Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael, CA 94901
$12 (CFI members $9)

This program is part of California Film Institute’s Science on Screen, a program pairing film screenings with lively presentations by scientific experts.

With baseball season in full swing, whose imagination doesn't turn naturally to dreams of green grass, peanuts and…science? Join us to hear what Exploratorium baseball experts (and fanatics) have to say about the science of America's favorite pastime. The presentation will utilize clips from both scientific documentaries and Hollywood films. Why is a curveball curved? What makes the sweet spot so sweet? Why do outfielders instinctively run in an arc instead of a straight line? And why have some physicists stated that, at least on paper, hitting a home run is impossible? Come learn the answers to these questions and whatever else you've been wondering about the physics, bio-neurology, and biomechanics of baseball. Program approximately 90 min.

The Science of Baseball program was conceived by two longtime employees (and fervent baseball fans) at the Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco: David Barker, designer and Art Director in the Institutional Media department, and Linda Shore, Director of the Teacher Institute and staff physicist. Collaborating with baseball teams and institutions, they have developed a series of exhibits, in-stadium demonstrations, videos, public programs, and publications that explore the physics of baseball and the biomechanics of how baseball players perform. Barker helped develop the Exploratorium’s award-winning Science of Baseball website.

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