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Archive for 'Research News'

Why Do Hockey Players Score More than Soccer Players?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Julien Blondeau, who researches thermodynamics and fluid dynamics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, writes us about his most unusual research project:

I can now perfectly explain why, for instance, field hockey players score more than football players, although the fields have approximately the same size, the number of players is exactly the same, the goals are smaller and the games are shorter: it is because the ball moves faster. It sounds trivial, and that’s what make people laugh.

My son plays field hockey, while my son in law plays roller hockey. Roller hockey players obviously evolve much faster on their field. But they don’t score so much more than field hockey players. I happened to wonder why during a boring, Saturday afternoon game. I though this must also have something to do with the duration of the game, the size of the field, the size of the goals and the speed of the puck/ball. Thinking of the well-known “Pi-theorem” in physics, I therefore decided to seek a non-dimensional number (a relevant ratio, basically) that could explain the differences between all variants of soccer and hockey in terms of number of goals scored per game. I studied 8 sports: soccer, indoor soccer, beach soccer, field hockey, roller hockey, ice hockey, indoor hockey, hockey 5s. And I succeeded! I wrote a paper about it.

That paper is: “The influence of field size, goal size and number of players on the average number of goals scored per game in variants of football and hockey: the Pi-theorem applied to team sports,” Julien Blondeau, Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, vol. 17, no. 2, 2021, pp. 145-154. It says:

In this paper, we investigate the correlation between the main physical characteristics of eight variants of football and hockey (such as field size, goal size, player velocity, ball velocity, player density, and game duration) and the resulting average numbers of goals scored per game….

[W]e propose a governing non-dimensional number based on the main physical characteristics of football and hockey that can be correlated with the average number of goals scored per game in their various forms.

A Zigzaging Look at Viagra Uses, from Zagazig University

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Zagazig University adds to the growing pool of information about the drug known as Viagra:

Sildenafil: from angina to SARS-CoV-2 [Sildénafil: de l’angine au SARS-CoV-2],” Ghada M. Khairy, Sawsan M.A. El-Sheikh, Naglaa Z. Eleiwa, and Azza A.A. Galal, Sexologies, epub 2021.

The authors, at the Department of Pharmacology, Zagazig University, Egypt, report:

Sildenafil was first examined as an alternative to nitrates for the management of angina pectoris and hypertension and eventually developed into an oral therapeutic agent used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction…. Here we review fundamental highlights in the enhancement of sildenafil for numerous scientific disorders and consider practicable new uses for this versatile drug.

2012 Japanese Ig Nobel Prize-winning Invention Patented by US Navy in 2021

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

The US Navy has obtained a patent (US patent #11082763, “Handheld acoustic hailing and disruption systems and methods”), here in the year 2021, for a device essentially the same as the invention that earned an Ig Nobel Prize in the year 2012 for a team of Japanese inventors.

Unsound Invention, Anew

New Scientist magazine reports on the new patent, with the headline “Sneaky US Navy feedback device could stop people being able to speak“. Here is a technical drawing from that new patent:

The 2012 Prize-Winning Invention

The 2012 Ig Nobel Prize for acoustics was awarded to Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada, for creating the SpeechJammer — a machine that disrupts a person’s speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.

Kurihara and Koji Tsukada documented their research, in the study “SpeechJammer: A System Utilizing Artificial Speech Disturbance with Delayed Auditory Feedback“, Kazutaka Kurihara, Koji Tsukada, February 28, 2012. They also produced this explanatory video:

(Thanks to Neil Judell for bringing the new patent to our attention.)

A Peaceful Echo, Sort of, From the Year 2000

This US naval reinvention sounds distantly related, in an upside-down way, to the inventive use of sound that earned the Ig Nobel Peace Prize in the year 2000, for the British Royal Navy. The British Royal Navy was honored, that year, for ordering its sailors to stop using live cannon shells, and to instead just shout “Bang!”

Coronal Kimchee-and-the-Nose Investigation

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

Kimchee, hot soup, and nose filters all figure in the search for understanding and containment of the Covid-19 pandemic. They figure especially highly in this newly published study:

Assessment of Coronavirus disease, the nose pollution filter, fermented spicy Kimchee, and peppery hot soup consumed in Korea,” Y. S. Chung, Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, vol. 14, 2021, pp. 785–791. (Thanks to Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.)


Considering the Uncanniness of Cozying Up to Clones

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Several researchers who are not themselves clones try to gauge what the reaction of the populace might be if and when they were to encounter a gaggle of clones. Details are in this study:

The clone devaluation effect: A new uncanny phenomenon concerning facial identity,” Fumiya Yonemitsu, Kyoshiro Sasaki, Akihiko Gobara, and Yuki Yamada, PLoS ONE, vol. 16, no. 7, 2021, e0254396. The authors, at Kyushu University, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Kansai University, Kyushu University, and Ritsumeikan University, Japan, explain:

“we examined what impressions images of people with the same face (clone images) induce. In the six studies we conducted, we consistently reported that clone images elicited higher eeriness than individuals with different faces; we named this new phenomenon the clone devaluation effect. We found that the clone devaluation effect reflected the perceived improbability of facial duplication.”

Improbable Research