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The Physics Behind a Curveball: The Magnus Effect

What makes a curveball curve? How do soccer players (or football players internationally) bend the ball in the air? Physics! It’s specifically called The Magnus Effect, “the commonly observed effect in which a spinning ball (or cylinder) curves away from its principal flight path.”

Watch it in action and find out why it does that in this video by Physics Girl, aka Dianna Cowern, outreach coordinator at UC San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, with special guest kicker Kyle Kitzmiller.

curveball physics
In the archives, more spinning, more physics, and more demos: understanding tether dynamics through kite flying, electromagnetic induction, and making sand swim.

via Aatish Bhatia.

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