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Science behind sports like Pole Vault and Long Jump

In keeping up good health, sports play an important role. To excel in sports like 'Pole Vault' and 'Long Jump' one has to practice scientifically. It means 'Science' plays an important role in sports also.

How to clear greater heights in pole vault?
Pole vault player holds a long flexible pole and after running considerable distance in the tracks touches firmly the ground at the prescribed place with the end of the pole jumps high in the air and cross the horizontal far as if he is passing through a tunnel (vault). According to Physics, in this sport one form of 'energy' transforms into another. A body at rest possesses potential energy (PE) and a body in motion possesses kinetic energy (KE). In pole vault KE converts into PE which helps the player to jump to greater heights by holding the pole. The player while running with the pole in the tracks possesses KE and once he makes the place to touch the ground (where a slot is provided) at the prescribed place the KE converts into PE which will be stored in the pole. Because of this the pole bends and while gaining its original shape the pole transfers all this energy to the player. Due to this energy gained from the pole the player jumps to such greater height. Greater the speed with which the players runs in the tracks, greater the height which he clears.

Technique in 'Long Jump'
The sports person in 'Long Jump' has to run for some distance before taking the jump to gain necessary strength to clear greater distances in the event.

If a person likes to jump forward from the place where he is standing, he has to apply force on the ground with his feet (action), the equal and opposite force simultaneously given by the ground (Reaction) on his feet makes him to jump forward. But in this case, one can apply only limited force on the ground. To jump over a long distance one has to apply a greater force on the ground.

According to the principles of Physics, to stop two similar motor cars coming towards us with different speeds, greater force is to be applied on the car with greater speed. Similarly, if a car and a lorry with different masses are coming towards us with the same speed, greater force is to be applied on the lorry (of greater mass) in order to stop them. It means to measure 'force', both the quantities 'mass' and 'speed' are required. If these two physical quantities are multiplied a new physical quantity 'momentum' is obtained.

The renowned scientist Sir Isaac Newton stated that whenever a force is applied on a body, there will be a change in the momentum of the body and this force applied is measured in terms of the change in momentum of the body. This principle we find in the sport of 'Long Jump'.

The person in a 'Long Jump' runs fast in the tracks before taking the jump and the change in the momentum of the person gives necessary force for him to jump. He will apply that force with his feet on the ground at the prescribed place (action). Simultaneously the ground gives an equal and opposite force (Reaction) which enables the person to jump over long distances.
Lakshmi Emani
Published date : 05 Jun 2012 05:45PM

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