I have been a physicist for all my professional life. I have been a baseball fan even longer. And in recent years, I have figured out that I can do both physics and baseball at the same time. It is the ultimate in having your cake and eating it too.
In this talk, I will discuss some of the ways that a physicist analyzes the game of baseball. In the course of doing so, I will address some interesting and practical questions from a physics perspective, such as: How does a baseball bat work? Why do aluminum bats outperform wood bats? Does corking the bat help? How much did that curve ball break? Can a curve ball be hit farther than a fastball? Why are towering popups difficult to catch? And by the way, how do we know how far that home run really traveled? Finally the very topical, can steroid usage increase home run production? My goal is that all will enjoy this talk, whether your interest is physics, baseball, or the intersection between them.