Because of the high-impact nature of the sport, football is notoriously linked with concussions and […]
The post How Magnets Make Football Safer appeared first on Argus International.
Because of the high-impact nature of the sport, football is notoriously linked with concussions and head injuries. It’s not surprising though; concussions happen with impacts of more than 100 g’s, and on the field, players running at almost 20 miles per hour can cause up to 150 g’s of force upon impact. In fact, every year, more than 100,000 concussions occur at all levels of the 1.2 million people who play it in America.
Leave it to science to come up with a trick to reduce the risk of head injuries in this beloved sport. By adding magnets to helmets, research suggests that when two players collide, the magnets in their helmets would repel each other, reducing the force of the impact and protecting the players.
According to neuroscientist Raymond Colello, “All helmet design companies and manufacturers have the same approach, which is to try to disperse the impact energy after the impact’s already occurred.” While this has, of course, prevented some injuries, it hasn’t been the most effective design. With the addition of magnets, the impact would be slowed or halted before it occurred.
While this design has yet to be tested with real players in action, the research and data is extremely promising, pointing towards magnets to actually reduce injury by repelling each other.
So what are they testing in these helmets? Rare earth magnets, of course. These powerful and strongest commercial magnets
are the perfect material for the job. When two rare earth magnets are only ¼ of an inch away from one another, they repel almost 100 pounds of repulsive force.
The addition of magnets to football wouldn’t completely change the design of the helmet, but would rather complement the existing model. Professional football helmets currently cost a few hundred dollar and adding magnets would increase the cost by anywhere from $50 to $100. For lower level players who do not have the force and impact that professional players exude could have these helmets made for less, with less powerful, more affordable magnets to match their force.