Science: Basic Research

Two husky football players suited up in the University of Colorado's field house at Boulder one day last week, taped on special shoulder pads equipped with accelerometers, and then charged furiously into each other in the cause of science.

The impact was thunderous, but no more so than thousands of other collisions that occur on the nation's gridirons every fall weekend. But astonishingly enough, the players recorded a reading of 50 g.—well over twice the amount most people think a human can tolerate.

The gimmick was that man can endure momentarily many more g. than...

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