Lynchburg College junior Chad Hobson ’17 plans to travel overseas to explain his research on sports physics this summer.
Two papers that Chad wrote along with physics professor Dr. John Eric Goff have been accepted for presentation in the International Sports Engineering Association conference in the Netherlands.
The first paper gives an update to their ongoing Tour de France research, in which they use physics to make predictions about the three-week bike race every year. The paper examines changes to their process of making a prediction as well as a comparison with data that demonstrates that their forecasting process does more than generate spot-on predictions; it actually provides an accurate model for the race.
Chad, the primary author on this paper, will present it at the conference.
The second paper details their analysis of drag, lift, and other forces impacting soccer balls. They worked on that research two years ago with wind tunnel data provided by some of Dr. Goff’s collaborators in Japan.
Chad is excited to have his research accepted to the conference. “It’s really a great validation and a great accomplishment to me,” he said. “It’s nice to know that all the work I put in in the classroom can pay off outside of getting an A.”
Chad enjoyed physics in high school but applying it to sports has made it more exciting. “To have the chance to be able to connect high-level academic work to something I’ve been passionate about for years is really really fun,” said the former soccer player.
Chad, a student in LC’s Westover Honors program, recently accepted a summer position in nuclear physics research at Duke University through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program, which he hopes will prepare him for earning a physics PhD later. He also will continue to work on Tour de France physics research with Dr. Goff this summer.