The 2020 Olympics may have been a bit late arriving thanks to the pandemic, but there’ve been no signs of sluggishness from athletes on the track. World records have been tumbling over the past weeks, and one factor behind this could be the technology used in the track. I worked with Jess Wade on this graphic to take a closer look at the materials science behind the track surface.
Note: The original version of this graphic depicted sulfur linkages in vulcanised rubber attaching to one of the carbons in the double bond. This is incorrect – the sulfur linkages attach to methylene groups in the chain. The graphic has been amended accordingly.
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