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Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Today's Big Idea: The Physics of Athleticism

The Big Idea for Saturday, June 02, 2012

Great athletes have a way of making the game look easy. On the other hand, the clay courts of Roland Garros have a way of making some of the best tennis players in the world appear very mortal. Can science help us understand success and failure in sports?

Today we will look at how both the surface of a tennis court, and the design of a ball, are by-product of physics. 

What are the mental skills that athletes need to master in order to perform better? And as fans, how can science deepen our understanding and appreciation of sports?

Are the best players all "intuitive physicists" and what exactly does that mean?


  1. 1 String Theory: The Physics of Tennis at Its Best
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 The Physics Behind Ball Design
    Michio Kaku Dr. Kaku's Universe
  3. 3 How to Improve Your Athletic (and Other) Performance Through Self-talk
    Maria Konnikova Artful Choice
  4. 4 This Is Your Brain On Sports
    Megan Erickson Think Tank

Today's Big Idea: The Physi...

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