Scientists Drop A Ball Off A Dam And It’s Surprisingly Awesome

When this group of amateur scientists drop a ball off a dam, something amazing happened that needed to be seen to be believed. Not only were they seeing first-hand evidence of strange physics at work, but they were having a blast doing it. Check out the video below:

(source: YouTube)

According to Wikipedia, the Magnus Effect is the force exerted on a rapidly spinning cylinder or sphere moving through air or another fluid in a direction at an angle to the axis of spin. This force is responsible for the swerving of balls when hit or thrown with spin.

The Magnus Effect is well understood and a key part of sport played with balls – from tennis to football to basketball. In baseball, for example, the rotation of the ball thrown by the pitcher can cause it to curve, which brought about the name of the “curve ball.” Spin on golf balls can cause them to float up and travel further or off to the side. In tennis, a well-placed swing can give the ball a spin that causes it to curve as it goes over the net to the other side, which may cause the opponent to misjudge where it will be. Amazing, huh?

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