Ron McNair in The Physics of Karate, 1979

The Physics of Karate, 1979

Author(s): Michael S. Feld, Ronald E. McNair, and Stephen R. Wilk
  • Type: Article
  • Researcher: Other Researchers
  • Timeline: 1970s
  • Affiliation: Faculty


A close examination of how the karate expert can break wood and concrete blocks with his bare hand reveals the remarkable capacity of the unaided human body for exerting physical force.


[MIT physics professor Michael Feld] had an amazing track record of mentoring African-American scientists, including astronaut Ronald McNair [PhD '77], who received his PhD under Michael’s supervision. In turn, Ron became Michael’s karate master...the true master is the one who helps others to achieve their best.

Former Head of Physics Edmund Bertschinger to MIT News (11 April 2010)

Feld, Michael S., Ronald E. McNair, and Stephen R. Wilk. "The Physics of Karate." Scientific American Volume 240, Issue 4 (April 1979): 150-58.