Thursday, December 8, 2016

Deflategate in Title Town

The 35th NFL Championship game, commonly referred to as the Ice Bowl, held in Green Bay, Wisconsin is still the game with the coldest reported kickoff temperature at -13℉ (248K). This situation was made worse by the fact the the turf heating system broke resulting in an icy field. It was so cold that the marching band could not perform at halftime due to the fact that several instruments froze over and several people were admitted to the hospital for hypothermia.

However cold weather can be beneficial for throwing and catching the football as cold weather can decrease the pressure inside the football if exposed to the weather for a long period of time. Regulation pressure of a football is approximately 13 PSI (89632 Pa), the average volume is 0.0046 cubic meters, and the average amount of moles in a football is 0.17 moles. The minimum pressure that the football could have attained during the Ice Bowl is calculated below.

PV = nRT

P(.0046) = (0.17)(8.314)(248)

P = 76200 Pa = 11 PSI

This pressure is approximately equal to the pressure in the footballs during deflategate, meaning that the footballs in the Ice Bowl could have deflated to a prohibited level because of the frigid temperatures. However this decrease in pressure occurs over a larger span of time and likely did not reach this pressure during the football game. Additionally any benefits that the flat football produces were likely balanced by the detriments of numb hands and icy fields.

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