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Author Topic: IB - Group 4 Project - Plausible?  (Read 12708 times)

Offline ZhadowFox

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IB - Group 4 Project - Plausible?
« on: 21/02/2011 07:03:39 »
Well, to get things started, our teacher suggested this idea to us : "Do your project on baseball. For example, in Colorado's Rookies stadium, more home runs are hit there than any other stadium in the United States. This has been proven. Can you hypothesize as to why this is the case? This would involve Biology and Physics."

Guidelines for our project state that we do not have to perform an actual experiment. For all our teacher cares, we can collect a variety of data, analyze it and then present our findings and interpretations of it. He also said that this project can realistically be done within one weekend. "If a group spends the majority of Saturday and Sunday dedicated to this project , that would be enough time to finish this within the requirements."

My group mates have tomorrow off but due to conflicts this weekend and last weekend, we could not get together to work on it. We plan on spending all of tomorrow working on researching and putting together some sort of presentation for this project. We also can stay every single day after school and/or at whatever library need be next week. The project is due on Friday. Yes we are well aware that we probably got too much of a late start on this but we looked at our hours and calculated that this can be done within that time if we put the effort forth.

My question is, is this project idea plausible or should we redirect our course to something easier? I assumed that it couldn't get easier than this since we don't have to perform an actual experiment/lab.

P.S
It should also be noted that I have already researched how baseball is related to biology / kinesiology / physics etc etc. Colorado is 1mile elevated above sea level so that would effect the air pressure there. That would probably in turn effect player performance. If not player performance, then that would effect how the ball travels through the air, what happens when the ball hits the bat, if there is a noticeable change between a ball hitting the bat in Colorado due to different air pressures as opposed to other cities. Etc etc.


 

Offline Geezer

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IB - Group 4 Project - Plausible?
« Reply #1 on: 21/02/2011 07:26:19 »
Looks like you are headed in the right directions, but you've got a ton of work to do to catch up (admit it - the call of the mountains was too great)

Because there are many factors to consider, there may not be a simple answer. (You might consider socio-economics, and who knows what else). I'm sure your teacher understands this, and he/she could be more interested in how well you worked together to try to identify the impact of the various factors, and how much influence each one has on your conclusions.
 

Offline RD

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IB - Group 4 Project - Plausible?
« Reply #2 on: 21/02/2011 10:31:55 »
... would effect how the ball travels through the air

When the air is thinner (at high altitude) pitching techniques like curve ball and knuckle ball will be less effective,
 so the batter will get a direct hit of the ball more of the time  => more home runs.

A batter will also be able to hit the ball further in thinner air.

Fielders work is anaerobic (like a sprinter) so I doubt the lower level of atmospheric oxygen at altitude would reduce their performance: I doubt it would cause them to run slower over short distances, provided they were well rested between exertions.
« Last Edit: 21/02/2011 10:53:39 by RD »
 

Offline ZhadowFox

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IB - Group 4 Project - Plausible?
« Reply #3 on: 22/02/2011 00:03:25 »
How would we turn this into an Argument / Question to hypothesize though? That is where we are stumped at the moment.

Colorado is at the highest altitude of baseball stadiums in the united states so curve balls and knuckles balls will be less effective as stated above.

... would effect how the ball travels through the air

When the air is thinner (at high altitude) pitching techniques like newbielink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curve_ball#Physics_of_a_Curveball [nonactive] and newbielink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knuckle_ball [nonactive] will be newbielink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_effect [nonactive],
 so the batter will get a direct hit of the ball more of the time  => more home runs.

A batter will also be able to hit the ball further in thinner air.

Fielders work is newbielink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_exercise [nonactive] (like a sprinter) so I doubt the lower level of atmospheric oxygen at altitude would reduce their performance: I doubt it would cause them to run slower over short distances, provided they were well rested between exertions.



I don't quite understand the call of the mountains reference.

Coor's field's elevation would make for a much different playing experience as opposed to other baseball stadiums. This could be counteracted by the Dome/Roof at Coor's Stadium in order to make games played under a more controlled environment.

Biology and how/what is used to make the baseball bats? The type of grass being used, if that has any.
The color of the baseball stadium?
« Last Edit: 22/02/2011 00:26:16 by ZhadowFox »
 

Offline RD

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IB - Group 4 Project - Plausible?
« Reply #4 on: 22/02/2011 10:38:33 »
This could be counteracted by the Dome/Roof at Coor's Stadium in order to make games played under a more controlled environment.

Unless the stadium is gas-tight and pressurised, (like a some aircraft), putting a roof on it won't change the density of the air inside it, (a roof would prevent any wind effects though).

BTW If the altitude was affecting players physiology it would particularly affect the visiting team: the home team (living at altitude) would be acclimatised.
« Last Edit: 22/02/2011 10:49:14 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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IB - Group 4 Project - Plausible?
« Reply #5 on: 24/02/2011 21:10:53 »
If you are doing a "science experiment", you need a hypothesis.  And, then you need to develop a way to test it.

I think it is time for a road trip  :)

If the hypothesis is that a ball will travel further in thinner air, then you should be able to prove it.

A more fun experiment might be to take a "pitching machine".  See how far it throws in Denver.  Also measure the speed using radar.
Take the pitching machine and radar gun to LA.
See how far it throws there.
The experiment would be best if you used the same pitching machine.

Another thing you might look at.

Gravity isn't constant around the world.  And Gravity will affect how fast a ball will fall back to earth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_of_Earth

The Grace project shows that the tall mountains (Rockies, Alps, Andes, Himalayas, etc) all have higher gravitational pull due to a greater mass effect.  However, that is when read from space.  On the ground, one also has to consider the distance to the center of the earth, and thus it might be less in Denver than other lower elevation cities.  Somewhere you should be able to find the acceleration due to gravity in Denver.  Or, perhaps you could measure it, or something similar, for example the weight (using a spring scale) of a barbell in Denver vs LA.
 

Offline Geezer

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IB - Group 4 Project - Plausible?
« Reply #6 on: 25/02/2011 02:16:44 »
I don't quite understand the call of the mountains reference.

What? Do you mean to say you are unaware of all the skiing opportunities slightly to your left?
 

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IB - Group 4 Project - Plausible?
« Reply #6 on: 25/02/2011 02:16:44 »

 

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