The high-end law firm employed by the NFL to investigate Ballghazi football-deflation accusations against the New England Patriots has contacted the Columbia University physics department seeking expert consultation on the issue of gases and air pressure:
Lorin L. Reisner, a partner in the litigation department of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, called the physics department on Monday, according to notes taken by an administrative manager.
“He would like to consult with a physicist on matters relating to gas physics,” the notes said.
A follow-up email from the firm asked to “discuss engaging a professor of physics to consult on matters relating to gas physics and environmental impacts on inflated footballs.”
Footballs used by the Patriots during the first half of their AFC championship victory were reportedly found to be 2 pounds per square inch of pressure under the NFL’s allowed lower limit of 12.5 psi. Some observers’ calculations and at least one real-life trial have suggested that the drop in temperature that occurred when the balls were taken outdoors for game play might explain their reduced pressure.