Charged shirts and thunderstorms?

09 December 2007

Question

Thursday's Daily mail reported that Portsmouth FC’s shirts have negatively charged ions to increase performance. Is that risky in thunderstorms?

Answer

We put this question to Mark Peplow, editor of Chemistry World Magazine.

I have to say I'm fairly sceptical. What they're saying is that somehow, negative ions, anions, are being generated by the shirt and this is having an effect on blood flow in the bodies of the players that wear the shirts. When you actually read down the story, their reporting a supposed improvement in mean performance of 2.7% and that's probably quite hard to judge anyway. But that level of improvement, 2.7%, one can imagine a performance boost coming from the positive moral of wearing a high-tech shirt, so I have to say I'm a little sceptical about this.

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