Kelderman: What’s with the home-run boom in baseball?

From Eric Kelderman at the Chronicle of Higher Education on May 28, 2018, with SABR member Alan Nathan:

Alan M. Nathan, an emeritus professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a major-league scientist. A page on the university’s website details some of his work “in the field of intermediate energy nuclear physics, particularly the study of the quark structure of the nucleon.”

But in the sports world, Nathan is known for something completely different. He is a heavy hitter, you might say, when it comes to the physics of baseball. He actually studies the “dynamics of the collision between the ball and bat and the aerodynamics of a baseball in flight,” according to the university’s website.

So it’s not surprising that Nathan, a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox, was chosen by Major League Baseball to lead a recent study on the increase in home runs during the 2015-17 seasons. Seven other scientists joined Nathan, including other physicists, engineers, mathematicians, and statisticians.

Nathan talked to The Chronicle about his work with baseball, what the study found, and whether the group’s research has any other applications. His interview has been edited for length.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 29, 2018. Last Updated: May 29, 2018.