Adidas' photo of the Telstar 18 soccer ball and the 2018 World Cup trophy.
Adidas' photo of the Telstar 18 soccer ball and the 2018 World Cup trophy.

Cosmic Queries: FIFA World Cup Edition

Photo Credit: Adidas.
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About This Episode

Every four years the World Cup descends upon us and every four years we’re captivated by the best that soccer can offer. On this episode of Playing with Science, we’ve caught World Cup fever and we’re answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the football world in general. Our hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly are joined by University of Lynchburg physics professor John Eric Goff, a.k.a. The Good Professor, to help us break down the beautiful game. First, we dive into the Telstar 18, the game ball being used at the 2018 FIFA World Cup: Eric explains how this ball differs from previous iterations, how the aerodynamics impact corner kicks, goal kicks, etc., and if striking the ball through the inflation apparatus can create a knuckling effect. Former British footballer Gary helps us understand the “toe poke” and the logic behind it. You’ll hear if the extended daylight hours in Russia impact player biorhythms. We also ponder the best place to play on the planet. Lastly, you’ll explore how different fields use different types of turf and the intense, meticulous process that goes into maintaining a soccer pitch.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cosmic Queries – FIFA World Cup Edition.

In This Episode

  • Host

    Chuck Nice

    Chuck Nice
  • Host

    Gary O'Reilly

    Gary O'Reilly
    Sports Analyst, Broadcaster, Professional Soccer Player
  • Guest

    John Eric Goff

    John Eric Goff
    Physicist, Martial Artist & Author of “Gold Medal Physics: The Science of Sports”

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