Have Oscar Pistorius' carbon-fiber lower legs crossed the line between prosthetics and enhancements? And is it fair for him to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games? Scientists and sports experts alike are being drawn into the debate, as Scientific American's Rose Eveleth explains.
With the 2012 London Games fast approaching, sports fans and pundits alike are wondering how many records athletes will break this year. And it's hard to blame them — after all, world records were broken in 33 separate events four years ago in Beijing. So why are the experts predicting far fewer records this time…
It's been coming into the spotlight more recently but NFL players have been dealing with brain injuries since the sport was first played. Combine the endless hard hits with the bigger, faster, stronger athletes and brains that weren't meant to be jiggled like that? Serious problems.
To determine how much energy knights in the Middle Ages burnt merely strolling around, British researchers recruited volunteers to dress up in mock-ups of real knightly armor and — in a hilarious twist — gallivant on treadmills. Sure enough, the study found that shielding the entire body was a heavy proposition.…
After many carefully controlled collisions and hours of video of bats striking balls, a group of physicists at Washington State University came to the conclusion that the relationship between a baseball and a bat was inelastic.
Athletes have used steroids, amphetamines, hormones, and who knows what else in search of an unnatural advantage, and no sport is more notorious for doping than professional cycling. The newest potential performance-enhancer is safe, legal...and yeah, maybe a little ridiculous.
For as long as there have been sports, there have been fans complaining about referees whose terrible calls rob their team of victory. The oldest - and most brutal - example of this can be found on a gladiator's epitaph.
Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie holds the current world record in the marathon at 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 59 seconds. Here's the question: what's it going to take to shave those last four minutes off for the first two-hour marathon?
Gymnastics is one of the most physically demanding activities imaginable, and you would assume it's a good idea to have complete use of your eyes while performing aerial somersaults. But science never got anywhere by taking assumptions at face value.
The same handful of college basketball teams always seem to do well in March Madness, and the deeper reasons behind that might actually tell us something profound about human evolution.
A group of researchers have discovered an objective way to measure the most important members of a soccer team. Yes, there is a scientific reason why you love Lionel Messi. It all comes down to statistics.