So Shaq Would Have Scored 500 g’s on the Dunkometer?

Posted by rtmsf on February 25th, 2009

We’re total suckers for this kind of thing (h/t TSN). 

Clemson University’s physics department (Clemson has a physics department?  who knew…) has come up with some contraption (pictured) that supposedly can tell us just how much force a basket is subjected to when a large athletic manchild decides to jump up, grab it, and throw an orange ball through the middle of it as hard as he possibly can.

This Looks Like Something Our Cousin Charlie Has Lying Around His Garage (photo credit:
This Looks Like Something Our Cousin Charlie Has Lying Around His Garage (photo credit:

We’re having a little trouble believing that Clemson could come up with something like this – a dunkometer – but if it’s actually reliable, score one for State U. over the nerds at MIT and Cal Tech.  According to the CU spokesperson, who doubtless was the guy with one of the lovelies pictured below: 

Ray Sykes had a nasty dunk at the East Carolina University game,” said Jonathan Cox, one of the students working on the project. “It peaked at a little over 30 g’s, one of the highest recorded so far. That’s awesome when you consider an earthquake’s ground motion produces accelerations around point five and one g.

Physics is Phun!!!
Physics is Phun!!!

So they’re saying that Ray Sykes’ dunk was 30-60 times more powerful than an earthquake?  What does that even mean?  Part of us wonders if this isn’t a prank by the three nerds at Clemson on the rest of the campus…  “see what happens when you put a 40 up there!…  watch how crazy they’ll get!”

We would be interested in learning what this particular dunk would have scored, though.  Probably 100 Hiroshimas combined with 50 earthquakes. 

rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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One response to “So Shaq Would Have Scored 500 g’s on the Dunkometer?”

  1. mkiffney says:

    Ignoring the strange use of resources in Clemson’s science department and the debatable nature of the comparison between the force of a dunk on a single point on a rim and the force of a freaking earthquake, I have to point out that if that is the best picture of Clemson’s finest, then it should be forced to relocate to the northeast, where all of the women have to stay covered up for 9 months of the year anyway. Disclaimer – having gone to a NE school, I am all too aware of the lack of “talent” in the region.

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