How To Find The Sweet Spot

""Sweet spots"" are everywhere in the world around us.

It's that unique place on a bat or racquet where you can hit a ball without jarring yourself, but it's also the perfect tuning point of a musical instrument, the point of balance in a circus act, and the combination of factors which produces one solitary gigantic ocean wave.

Physicist Len Fisher discovers a range of sweet spots and reveals how to use them.

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Episodes

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20050405

Buildings and Bridges: Len Fisher and fellow physicist Jeff Odell investigate how catastrophic vibrations arise in structures, enlisting the help of engineer Adam Crewe.

01Sport2004090620050329

""Sweet spots"" are everywhere in the world around us.

It's that unique place on a bat or racquet where you can hit a ball without jarring yourself, but it's also the perfect tuning point of a musical instrument, the point of balance in a circus act, and the combination of factors which produces one solitary gigantic ocean wave.

Physicist Len Fisher discovers a range of sweet spots and reveals how to use them.Len gets into shape with the help of tennis coach Peter Bendell, England rugby coach Dave Aldred and scientist Jeff Odell in order to find the Sweet Spot in sports.

He discovers why modern racquets go 'plop' instead of 'ping' when you hit a ball, and that Johnny Wilkinson's famous kick in the 2003 World Cup Final was not all that it seemed.

02Great Waves20040907

Physicist Len Fisher reveals the secret to finding the ""sweet spot"" in nature which produce giant waves.

He's joined by Cunard Commodore Ron Warwick and scientist Jeff Odell to explore two spectacular examples, giant ocean waves and the Severn Bore.

Len also braves the freezing Severn water to try out his surfing skills.

03Buildings And Bridges20040908

Physicist Len Fisher discovers the "sweet spots" in the everyday constructions around us.

When buildings and bridges "give" they often do so in a catastrophic manner.

Len and fellow physicist Jeff Odell enlist the help of engineer Adam Crewe when they use an earthquake machine to investigate how catastrophic vibrations arise in buildings, bridges and even sports bras.

04The Balancing Trick20040909

Tricks such as spinning a ball on the tip of your finger are difficult to get right.

Physicists Len Fisher and Jeff Odell talk to circus performer Rod Laver about the best way to find a balancing "sweet spot", and then reveal, with the help of mathematician Tom Mullin, how science lets us perform a modern version of the apparently impossible Indian Rope Trick, where a chain of connected links is balanced on its end.

05 LASTMaking Music20040910

Physicist Len Fisher reveals the science of producing the optimum "sweet spot" for a piano and for a soprano's voice, with the help of piano tuner David Widdicombe and Australian physicists John Smith and Joe Wolfe.