Behind the scenes: Curveball



Have you ever ask yourself "What makes the a baseball curve?" Me neither! It is very cool when you learn about it, though. To understand this concept, you have to think very deeply about the ball itself.


curveball.gif

"When a spinning ball moves through the air, resistance is greater on the side where the spin increases
the relative motion of ball against the air. This increases drag, deflecting the ball away from that side." (caption)

So... lets elaborate.

Resistance is a force that slows down a moving object down."The force of resistance, or drag,
is proportional to velocity -- faster objects experience more drag, all other things being equal."
When the ball is rotating in the air, one side is moving faster through the air than the other side.
The air pushes that side with a greater force (pushing it away) towards the slower moving side.
That results into a curveball.

In Exact Words...

"What happens to the ball depends on what spin was put on it. What causes the ball to curve, slide or stay in a strait pattern? This all has to do with the fact that there is drag force, or air resistance. A curve ball is created when a ball is spinning. The faster flowing air under the ball creates less pressure, which forces the ball to dive or break. Baseball would be a dull game without drag force because there would be no curves, sliders, or knuckle balls."


Sources:

1. http://whyfiles.org/152baseball/3.html
2. http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/jon_drobnis/curveball.html