When people talk about the physics of American
football, they normally mention force, torque, and so on… Like how the energy from two
linemen colliding is enough to power a 60W light bulb for over a minute, or is equivalent
to an average person falling two stories off of a building! But there’s another aspect of physics in football
that isn’t talked about as much – symmetry! You might think symmetry is just for butterflies
and rorschach tests, but it’s all over the place in football: there’s translational symmetry
when teams keep the same formations as they move up or down the field, and rotational
symmetry when they switch sides after a touchdown. Even the ball has axial symmetry so it can
spin smoothly through the air. But why is symmetry useful in the first place?
Symmetry makes things easier, or at least more efficient; it gives you a guide: “same
scenario, same action.” That means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time: to
draw a straight line, you just keep drawing in the same direction. For a circle, keep
curving the same amount. So when football players practice a play over
and over, the patterns of football become so ingrained in their reflexes they can act
without thinking. Psychologists call this “habit formation”; we call it “symmetry in
time”! And when players line up on the field the same way at the thirty, or forty, or fifty
yard lines, that’s “symmetry in space”. Even physics itself is symmetric – ever
heard of Newton’s law: “a body in motion tends to stay in motion”? That’s just nature saying
“keep doing the same thing.” What’s more, Newton’s laws of motion are the same now as
they were yesterday, and they’ll be the same again tomorrow! Doesn’t that make life easy? Ultimately, symmetry is what allows both science
AND football to function – if the laws of the universe (or the rules of football) changed
from day to day, we wouldn’t be able to repeat experiments, make predictions, or know what
plays to practice. So when you reach for yet another handful
of chips while watching the next football game, know that millions across the country
are doing exactly the same, in perfect symmetry.

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## 100 thoughts on “Football, Physics, and Symmetry”

1. Henk Spenk says:

isn't symmetry in time just muscle memory?

2. Thomas Miller says:

why do sport players earn so much money from just hitting or kicking a ball!

3. Thomas Miller says:

no symmetry is just around to stop the people with ocd from manufacturers

4. SaryTheWolf says:

Death the Kid: Yes, Everything Must be Symmetrical!
XD

5. B3TA says:

America is amazing. All you other countries see are stereotypes. America = Innovation and Freedom. Ever seen a Mac computer? America. Do you use Windows? America. And hey, now Mexico has the highest rate of obesity.

6. CptnRedBeard93 says:

Europe = freedom too…. -_- so please stfu with your 'america = freedom'

7. Perry thePlatypus says:

@SaryTheWolf I know right Lol. Just like the number eight.

8. Rem NL says:

This comment made me laugh, but I hope you actually were trying to be funny otherwise I have to cry for you now. : ) or ; ( ?

9. reepermaple says:

10. Vexsus22 says:

EXCEPT HIS FUCKING HAIR …. GET THIS SHIT OUTTA HERE

11. CFood0 says:

I only watched this cause of the word Symmetry. I'm quite surprised to find a Soul Eater comment here.

12. Dat Boi says:

Oh man, Death the Kid.

13. Dat Boi says:

Not knocking rugby. I'd just like to know why its called "rugby", and not "brawlball", or something. There're no rugs involved… I mean, football has at least one maneuver where the feet are involved (excluding the instance of actually running the ball). Is it just… slang from long ago?

14. wizardtech1 says:

I think that's over thinking it.

15. Thelegoterrapin says:

Ying!

16. Dantehavok218 says:

Unfortunately the rules of football do keep changing..

17. ntdonat says:

the game americans call soccer used to be called both soccer and football by everyone before what americans call football was invented (presumably in america). so which is football or soccer? well, both.

18. Ephemeral Snow says:

Death the kid approves this video ^ ^=

19. prchdm says:

Please be precise. It's American Football. European here 😛

20. The Trigger says:

You are right we don't want it confused with soccer! Australian here!

21. Papa Grimly says:

When they said foot, they meant the imperial system's unit of length measurement. Sorry for any more confusion this system has caused. 😀

22. TheHKG36 says:

i love how the german subtitles (too lazy to turn them off) say at 1:08 :"because americans don´t understand the metric system."

23. Matthew Stonebraker says:

american football literally isn't even on the top 10 list for most popular in the world. it is ONLY popular in america and has slight recognition in few other countries. meanwhile, football (soccer) is the world's most popular sport. in addition to that, the most valuable sports teams in the world are the football (soccer) teams from the premier league and la liga. so basically you're ignorant and wrong

I wonder how many people have actually watched that show

American football is the stupidest game in my opinion >.>
And I am american.
I may make more money than other sports cuz people like violence and that's really all football is, just without the blood and gore.

26. LCnorlak says:

I see football as a game of chess played by the coach where the chess pieces are human and have different traits.

27. Darca1n says:

I thought this video was about football, FOOTball, not rugby.

28. obesedog23 says:

I don't think you do.

29. Infinite Monkey says:

People complain american football is rugby. So then volley ball and tennis must be the same sport with different equipment. Or baseball and kickball. Or handball and racket ball. Tennis and badminton even.

30. blop says:

I think "football" isn't that much of a good game. I mean, you get to see linemen crash into each other and a bunch of running, but that's about it.

31. Reynard Waltz says:

You don't flip sides after each touchdown smart on.

32. Reynard Waltz says:

One

33. eDope says:

i like football, the real one where you play with feet, and i call american football a hand egg

Well that's your opinion, in which I respect. I would say one of my sayings but I'm afraid someone might steal it.

35. Sandeep Thakur says:

This ain't football bitch !!!

36. Itskelvinn says:

Did anyone else think this was extremely lame? Symmetry has nothing to do with anything. Seemed like he was pushing its definition

37. Từ Minh Trí says:

What the fug is that? A handegg?

38. fireblazecarson says:

Let's get the old comment system back 😀

39. NYGiantsFan1097 says:

Physics about my favorite game. Awesome.

40. Mohsem says:

I came for football not hand egg. -_-

41. rjbing23 says:

that's not football that's more like a hand ball or  that american version  of  rugby !!! whats wrong with u america ????

42. ColumbineLegend 420 says:

Football is our sport! Stop calling it soccer and using pur name for your sport! >:(

43. iluvsharks100 says:

this ain't football! this is rugby!!!

44. Sexy Science Gaming says:

actualy u dnt kno if newtons laws will be the same tomorow the uncertainty principle backs me up on this 🙂

45. SrmthfgRockLee says:

speaking of chips… I got one here. While playing farmville 2, I'll eat it on the next videos(started from latest ones towards the first one ever)

46. Paul J says:

That is NOT football. It`s some poofy American nonsense with body armour.
Foot ball involves kicking ,with the feet, Not throwing and catching with the hands.
Also Budweiser is a drinkable beer,only if brewed in the Czech republic, unlike that piss from USA that stole it`s name.
Calling ALUMINIUM (al you mini um) Aloominum makes yanks sound like they are brain damaged (along with banging on about babyjeezus being real)
Othrwise we are OK

47. zerox198826 says:

The pictures flash very fast, and your hand blocks the pictures. Honest comment: I can't really see what you are drawing.

48. Ditharu says:

I wanted to write a comment about symmetry but then I then but symmetry about comment a write to watned I

49. LPerBrook says:

You may need to change the German translation.
I do not care about the soccer football argument but american football does NOT translate to "Fussball

50. A Ridho says:

nobody cares about american football outside the usa

51. TheToaster770 says:

Oddly enough, even though this goes against symmetry and this video, if nothing made any sense and everything was asymmetrical, it would still make sense until it repeated itself.

52. Kyle Klassen says:

the music is soo annoying

53. zoiuduu says:

that tv is 3d?

54. Odin029 says:

I have read some posts here and it's clear that nobody outside of the USA(and Canada) cares about American football. But haven't you people noticed that we Americans don't care what you like or dislike, and nothing really matters until we says it does.  As a matter of fact you folks should be glad that only school children in America play soccer, because if our best athletes played then we'd win the World Cup too.

Hockey

56. Felhek Lehrian says:

you mean Hand…ball. They never use the feet. this is not Foot..ball.

Why can't there be one video on YouTube about American football where no one argues about its name…

58. Aaron Reichert says:

awesome one

59. 200puppy7 says:

Someone call Death the kid…

60. Carebearbull says:

aaaah, he's talking about handegg. Didn't quite hang on there for a second.

61. Oran D. Lord says:

0:29 You don't switch sides after a touchdown in professional American football.

62. quazzie1 says:

YouTube: Where the world comes to argue about shit that doesn't really matter.

63. Bryce Runsabove says:

If you don't like American Football, then don't watch it

64. Derpy Hooves says:

Death the Kid approves

65. RedsBoneStuff says:

Minecraft

66. Jacob Sund-lussier says:

i really like these my teacher uses these in class

67. certioremfacere says:

i don't know what you said, but i strongly disagree.

68. JonDecagon says:

Football? Non-Americans are gonna rage.

69. Мариос Христодулу says:

You can't prove that the laws that govern the universe will not change in the future or have been the same in the distant past. You only assume that because it is conventient, like conservation of energy, for instance. All scientific assumptions are made upon common sence and for the sake of practicality, but are, nonetheless, mere assumptions and hence unfaulsifiable.
Stop scientific realism!

70. Dani Paunov says:

Imagine this:
You and someone is watching a football match/soccer game/…
(That) Someone: Brb, I have to go to the toilet.
You: OK, I'll go grab some more chips/popcorn/whatever.
Same as above: *Goes to the toilet*
You: *go to grab some chips/popcorn/whatever from the kitchen*
Both: *Come to the living room and just as you enter, the TV screen breaks and a football/soccer ball comes out of it*

How would you react to that (ignoring the fact, that the TV is broken)?

71. Mark G says:

But if the rule of football did change every day, we'd have a variant of Calvin ball. Who doesn't love Calvin ball?

72. Jimmy LeHay says:

OK, Why is minute physics, I mean Henry, talking about Football?

73. Zero says:

When you say football, do you mean handegg?

74. Sneaky Creeper says:

I know that this person is american but they can just put rugby in brackets so I know what they are talking about

75. Jordan McCarty says:

And this is why CS:GO is such an unnecessarily difficult game to get good at.

76. Destinee Anderson says:

This sounds like Blue's Clues music

Wait hand-egg, oh nobody cares

78. Aurie says:

What has handegg got to do with physics, exactly?

79. MsCode ™ says:

I been subbed to this channel for over a year and all the videos are just pure bullshit. Nothing new or groundbreaking. Same annoying bullshit music in every video. And this guy narrating speaks so fast I can't help but think he can't wait to finish his poxy videos

80. MsCode ™ says:

I unsubbed because I Syria ass lee do not think this channel will every come up with shit that will enlighten me.

81. RichardM8422 says:

82. Anki says:

Football? HAH! MORE LIKE FOOTEGG

83. KYLE says:

you should do a video on the Em drive >_<

84. Null says:

wait but that's rugby not football!!

85. GoldSkyward says:

I saw football so I came in, but I don't recognise it, what happened ?

86. João Vítor Marcenes says:

Football is just a fucking name for a stupid game, aren't you guys more mature than that? really

87. Amer Hussein says:

in perfect symmetry like brainless sheep. smh

88. VidyVid says:

Normal world: You use feet and legs to control the ball, hence the word football.
USA: You use your hands and arms to to control the ball, hence the word football.

89. Joseph Palethu says:

Habit formation=Ultra Instinct

90. Greenftor says:

Pssst, guys. This video is actually about strange sport "handegg". It has nothing to do with a football.

91. TheMatrix1101 says:

Hit like if you came for REAL football, not this American bullshit.

92. kirtil5 says:

reaches out for the bag for chips

american football ball sudenly flies through screen

93. RandomPerson says:

“They can act without thinking”
We call that ultra instinct

94. This Is Who I Am says:

The ball used on this illustration is not from football. It's rugby.

95. Orion D. Hunter says:

Blek is an example. When you draw a line, it repeats what you did.

96. Fracarmon says:

Football? You mean Rugby for pussies?

97. Daniel Watts says:

Not only would science be impossible, but life would be too

98. bh says:

Saying that after a touchdown, the two teams switch sides sounds misleading; rather, after a touchdown it's the the ball that switches sides.

99. FurryIsSin says:

llabtoof

100. Cornell Waters says:

🏈 Thank You!