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The following maths is suitable for Year 9+
but can be presented to lower grades just to show
maths is cool!
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The following maths is suitable for Year 9+
but can be presented to lower grades just to show
maths is cool!
Mathspig is, like, soooooo excited. Tonight I’m gong to watch
Tomas Berdych (CZE) [7] play Andy Murray (GBR) [6] in the Semifinals at the Australian Tennis Open.
Some quick maths.
Tomas Berdych is 1.96 METRES (6 FT. 5 IN.)
While Andy Murray is 1.91 METRES (6 FT. 3 IN.)
But, but, but …. Andy Murray, who is 26 years old and is 2 years younger than Berdych.
Here is the serve speed of the of the fastest recorded tennis serves in the world:
How long would it take a tennis ball traveling at these speeds to reach the service line on the other side of the court?
The tennis ball leaves the servers racket approx 3m above the baseline and travels along the hypotenuse to the service line. We must call in Pythagorus Theorem!!!!
You can calculate the time it takes a tennis ball to reach the service line for each player in the Top 10 Service Speeds List by using the simple v = x/t equation.
The big question is this:
You have to be able to move your racket before the ball arrives.
Can you do it mathspiggies?
You can calculate your reaction time by two methods:
See details at Top End Sports Website.
This is the best reaction time clock I’ve seen because it uses a traffic light system. Here is Mathspig’s reaction time:
Mathspigs reaction time was : 0.33 secs (see above)
So Mathspig would probably be hit on the head by a serve by Samuel Groth.
According to Wikipedia fastest service speed times for these two players are:
Andy Murray = 233 km/h (145 mph)
Tomas Berdych = 226.0 km/h (140.4 mph)
Tomas Berdych service speed just beats the fastest female tennis serve by Barbora ZáhlavováStrýcová at 225 km/h (140 mph).
Could Mathspig react in time to return Andy Murray’s server? Could you react in time?
Tomas Berdych’s serve would hit the line after 0.29 secs. Once again, I’d still be hit on the head. Ditto the top female tennis players.
Mathspig might lose if she played in the Aussie Tennis Open, but I’m a pig. I’d win serve GRUNT of the match. Ha!
Here is a screen grab from the New York Times article on Speed Skating:
Annette Gerristen lost the Gold Medal in the 1000 m Women’s speed skate competition by 0.02 seconds.
From the wonderful NBC Mathletes Video
When 1st and 2nd place are separated by 0.02 seconds, they are travelling at almost the same speed. So the second place contestant is:
behind the winner.
The distance travelled by the winning speed skater in 0.002 seconds would be:
So the second place competitor would be 2.38 cm behind.
If a speed skater lost the Gold Medal by 0.001 seconds, the smallest measured time segment at the Olympics, they would be:
behind the winner. That is less than the length of a small fingernail.
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Structure 
Real Olympics 
Lego Olympics 
100m Sprint 
100m 
2m 
400m Sprint 
400m 

42 km marathon 
42,000m 

Olympic Pool Length 
50m 

Olympic Pool Width 
25m 

Olympic Rowing Course 
2,000m 

Equestrian Jump Height 
2m 

Approx Pole Vault Pole Length 
5.5m 

Javelin Length Men Women 
2.6m 2.2m 

Olympic Stadium Straight Segment Semicircle Radius inner Lane Lane Width 
84.39m 36.50m 2.5m 
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Nation 
March Time Gap time 0 min 
March Time Gap Time 1 min 
March Time Gap Time 2 min 
March Time Gap Time 3 min 
PJ Boy + the Pajamaramas 
8 
8 
8 
8 
Mummy’s Boy and the Crytomanians 
5mins 20 secs 
6 mins 20 secs 
7mins 20 secs 
8 mins 20 secs 
Olag and The Beserkers 
4 
6 
8 
10 