The Physics of the Olympics

“Faster, higher, stronger.” The Olympic motto also expresses some of the underlying physics of the Games: velocity, kinetic energy, force. 

All Olympic athletes – whether slicing through a pool, hurling a discus, or dismounting the parallel bars – must contend with the universal physical laws governing nature. 
Jumpers battle gravity, swimmers push through viscosity, throwers harness aerodynamics, lifters struggle with mass. 
Here’s a look at some of the physics concepts at play during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and how scientific know-how contributes to medal-winning performances.
Diving physics
Watch a Perimeter Institute public lecture by Dr. Vilhelm Bohr about his remarkable ancestors. 

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.

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Director of Communications & Media
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