Olympic Success: it’s a numbers game

So, there it is, 2012 is now 2013.  Olympic year is officially over, leaving emotional memories and a heavily worn box-set of BBC highlights.  In Singapore in 2005 after we won the Olympic bid, I vowed that I would have some influence on London 2012, whether it be volunteering or selling flags.   I can now […]

Science Spat: Is the use of sport in technology cheating? Round 3.

It appears that in this year’s Olympics, the issue of technology in sport is as big an issue as it’s ever been.  The ‘science spat’ below is the third of three letters and responses between Steve Haake and Jim Parry that originally appeared in People and Science.  Read the first and second letters if you […]

Science Spat: Is the use of sport in technology cheating? Round 2.

It appears that in this year’s Olympics, the issue of technology in sport is as big an issue as it’s ever been.  And with running suits appearing in athletics, it is bound to be a hot topic of conversation.  The ‘science spat’ below is the second of three letters and responses between Steve Haake and […]

Science Spat: Is the use of technology in sport cheating? Round 1.

It appears that in this year’s Olympics, the issue of technology in sport is as big an issue as it’s ever been.  And with running suits appearing in athletics, it is bound to be a hot topic of conversation.  The ‘science spat’ below is the first of three letters and responses between Steve Haake and […]

Sprinting’s latest performance enhancer: Usain Bolt.

The following article is a synopsis of “Material Advantage” which was published in Physics World in July 2012.  It can be found here. — When I went into the field of sports engineering, people would say to me “it’s ruining sport, it’s just about who has the best equipment”.  This put me in a dilemma: […]

Why are the Olympics important: 2

One of our V&A questions recently was “why are the Olympics important?”  Here, Prof Steve Haake gives his personal take on the importance of the Olympics. Seven years ago, in 2005, one of my colleagues (Dr John Hart) and I were lucky enough to be invited to Singapore for the UK’s bid for the Olympics.  […]

Indoor skydiving as an Olympic sport?

I was lucky enough recently to visit a relative in California with a house above the San Francisco Bay.  How excited was I when I realised I could see NASA Ames’ Moffett Field across the bay?  This houses Hangar One, an old airship hanger like something out of Flash Gordon, and the World’s largest wind […]

Gold fever: predicting the number of medals for Team GB at London 2012

The great physicist Niels Bohr was responsible for the famous quote “prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future”.  Of course that doesn’t stop us trying – especially when it comes to sport and doubly so if you are hosting the next Olympics in London. Some of my colleagues (Simon Shibli and Chris […]

Diving into basic mechanics

I taught the mechanics of solids to mechanical engineering students for around 15 years.  When it came to exams, I always tried to include examples from the real world that would stretch the most able of the students – I even had a question relating the bending of beams with the deflection of springboards during […]