String Theory

Joshua Speckman demonstrates how new technology is warping the tennis world

Joshua Speckman demonstrates how new technology is warping the tennis world

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The New Physics of Tennis by Joshua Speckman

The Atlantic, January/February 2011

Copoly strings help generate so much spin that today's players--dubbed the "new-string generation" by Federer--can hit once-inconceivable drives, angled winners, and passing shots. But despite the widespread belief of players that copoly strings have changed the game, scientists until recently could find no evidence that a string's material, thickness, tension, or texture made a real difference in spin generation.

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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