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August 31st, 2012

Ramirez videos on the physics of football and the Titanic

Published on August 31st, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire

The physics of football. Credit: Ainissa Ramirez; You Tube.

Today is the start of the Labor Day weekend, and The American Ceramic Society extends its best wishes to all who work with ceramic materials. Indeed, the Society’s very existence is founded on the need of ceramic engineers in the late 19th century to have a network of colleagues to whom they could turn for information and advice to solve work-related problems. The Society continues to meet that need today and has extended its reach around the globe.

Many colleges and universities kickoff their football seasons this weekend, too. Here in Columbus, for example, Ohio State University plays Miami University of Ohio under the watchful eye of Urban Meyer in his début as head football coach. Meyer, in turn, will be under the watchful eyes of one of the largest student bodies and alumni associations in the country.

At CTT we are big fans of Ainissa Ramirez, Yale professor and “science popularizer.” Ramirez has a talent for explaining fairly complex materials science concepts in about four minutes on topics such as thermoelectrics, nanomaterialsshape memory and more. She created this video on the physics of football for Super Bowl 2012, and it seemed a nice way to acknowledge the start of the new collegiate season.

A while back, she also posted a video on the materials science behind the Titanic. It’s a little unsatisfying because she does not dive into specifics; rather she just convinces us that properties are temperature dependent. See whether you agree in the video below.

Happy Labor Day, and Go Illini!

Rivet failure on the Titanic. Credit: Ainissa Ramirez; You Tube.

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2 Responses to Ramirez videos on the physics of football and the Titanic

  1. Eileen De Guire says:

    You are right about the ductile to brittle transition being well known. I wished the video had told us a little bit about that – what it is, why it happens, etc. It’s a pretty interesting phenomenon, and as you say, had tragic consequences. I was looking for some of that kind of explanation in the video.

  2. Stuart Uram says:

    The ductile to brittle transition temperature of steel is well known and measured by the Charpy impact test. The temperature at which this takes place is composition dependent and since we probably know the metal composition of the rivets, we can know the transition temperature. This was a tragic phenomena in World War Two when Liberty ships fell apart in the North Atlantic in cold waters because metallurgists did not pay attention to this composition problem in steel when these boats were in very cold water.

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