Howard Brody was a professor of physics at the university of Pennsylvania when he began to take an interest in the physics of tennis racquets. His first paper on the subject, “Physics of the Tennis Racket” was published in 1979 in the American Journal of Physics. He didn’t stop there. Over the next 20 years he wrote many more articles on the physics of tennis, including practical suggestions for players and coaches that were published in various tennis magazines.  He also appeared on TV describing what he had learnt and how it could help players.


In 1996 I  saw a short presentation by Howard on TV concerning the moment of inertia of a tennis racquet, and immediately contacted him to tell him it was very interesting. That began a long series of emails over the next seven years. I eventually met him at a tennis conference in London in 2003, as shown in the photo below. The chap in middle is Crawford Lindsey. The three of us wrote a book called “The Physics and Technology of Tennis”, published in 2002.


Howard was also deeply involved in technical aspects of tennis for the US Tennis Association and the International Tennis Federation.




Howard passed away in 2015, age 83, after a long illness. He made a unique contribution to the physics of tennis, and other sports, and became my inspiration for continuing his work as far as I could.