Howard Brody

Born in Newark, New Jersey, July 11 1932, Howard Brody, tennis player and physicist, has long experience both at the cutting edge of the science of sport, and as a populariser of the subject. He is one of the people responsible for bringing you the bigger tennis ball.

Dr. Howard Brody is an emeritus professor of physics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was interim varsity tennis coach for part of the 1991 season. He played varsity tennis and earned his bachelor’s degree at MIT and his master’s and doctoral degrees at Cal Tech. For many years his primary field of research was elementary particle physics and high energy nuclear physics, working at laboratories in the US and in Europe. Recently he has been investigating the physics of sports, particularly tennis. He has written many papers and articles on the subject, given numerous lectures and talks on tennis, and done several television programs explaining the science behind tennis, football, and baseball. Professor Brody is a member of the International Tennis Federation Technical Commission, the USTA Sports Science Committee, science advisor to the Professional Tennis Registry, technical advisor to the United States Racquet Stringers Association, on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Sports Engineering, and on the technical advisory panel of Tennis Magazine. His book Tennis Science for Tennis Players was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 1987. He and Vic Braden are featured in a video “The Science and Myths of Tennis.” As one of the six principal authors who have written an NSF sponsored high school physics course (Active Physics), he was responsible for the chapters dealing with the physics of sports. He has received the USPTR Plagenhoef award for sports science in 1996 and the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award for the year 2000. He is one of the people responsible for bringing you the bigger tennis ball.

  • S.B. 1954, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • M.S. 1956, California Institute of Technology
  • Ph.D. 1959, California Institute of Technology
Professional Record
Instructor, University of Penn
Assistant Professor, University of Penn.
Associate Chairman for Undergraduate Affairs
Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Associate Chairman for Technical Services
Associate Professor, University of Penn.
Acting Men’s Varsity Tennis Coach
Emeritus Professor
Fellowships and Awards
  • N.S.F. Postdoctoral Fellowship - 1959
  • Fellow, American Physical Society
  • Professional Tennis Registry Plagenhoef Award 1996
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame Education Merit Award 2000
Present External Committees
  • USTA Sports Science Committee
  • International Tennis Federation Technical Commission
  • Editorial Board of the Journal of Sports Engineering
Other Activities
  • Science Advisor, US Professional Tennis Registry
  • Technical Advisor, US Racket Stringers Association
  • Technical Advisory Panel, Tennis Magazine