RSS

Finally: Basketball made interesting

29 Aug

I’ve never been much of a basketball fan. When I was in college I got behind my team (the Blue Hens) for two of their best seasons on record (1992 and 1993). It was easy to be a fan because I was going to UD at the time, which meant that we got free (?) or at least heavily discounted tickets – and all my friends were doing it, so …

bridge

However, youtube has actually turned me on to a couple brilliant uses for the sport. First, the simple one: Who doesn’t like watching what happens when you drop something mundane from a very high place?

I don’t actually know if this shot really merited a world record – although, really, how could it not? But it’s certainly fun to watch:

However, here’s where things get interesting. You’re all set to make the shot (drop, whatever) and you put a little spin on it. Natural enough. Enter the Magnus Effect:

Applying the Magnus effect to baseball demonstrates how the spin of a fastball affects its trajectory:

From Michael Richmond of RIT.edu, the horizontal flight path of a baseball with or without spin (in this case a 2200 RPM backspin)

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 12.00.47 PM

From the website of Michael Richmond: “The effect of air on baseball pitches”

Turning up the backspin to 3500RPM, the ball assumes a flat path ( actually rising in height as it approaches the plate.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 12.03.20 PM

Ahh. Physics.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: