Science of baseball
Tony Schroeder



The Question: How does science affect pitching a baseball?


The Information

When you throw a baseball there are three forces acting on it to make air resistance. The first force is gravity, gravity makes the baseball accelerate downward at g=9.8m/s². The next force is air drag; air drag impedes or interferes with the balls motion through the air. The last force is Magnus force, which laterally makes the ball curve. While the ball is in flight it is also being influenced by the wind. It is also being influenced by humidity or the density of the air. Both humidity and wind can make the air resistance less or even more. It might also cause the ball to curve less or curve more and it may also make the ball travel a greater distance than it would in normal conditions. Dx=VT; this equation is how you would find the horizontal distance the ball will travel. In the equation Dx stands for distance, V stands for velocity and T stands for time. The equation can be slightly off because of any other forces that act on the ball like, wind and humidity.

The speed and velocity of a baseball receives its momentum and motion from the person who texternal image Chris_Capuano.jpghrow the ball. To put more velocity on the ball the thrower must have momentum and transfer it to the ball. The transfer of momentum follows the principle of sequential summation of movement. That states the largest body masses move first, and then followed by the smaller body masses. The thrower in baseball then represents that principle. The pitcher starts with the legs, then hips, shoulders, arm, wrist and fingers. As each part goes it transfers its momentum to the next part and then to the ball. Also with the rotating motion of the pitchers leg and the extension down to the pitcher’s mound creates maximum momentum and velocity.

There is also friction acting with the pitcher to help them pitch. The friction is the spiked shoes or cleats the pitchers and the other players wear on the field. The cleats help them get traction on the dirt bay creating friction between the cleat and the dirt. When the pitcher ends his movement he plants his foot on the ground and the cleat digs in to the ground to help stop his foot from sledding forward.
Newton's second law of motion states that an object will move with constant velocity until a force is exerted on it. The force at which the baseball hits the bat depends on the mass of the ball and how fast the speed of the ball changes. A pitched ball is going faster out of the picthers hand, because air friction slows it down as it approaches the batter. Newton's third law of motion states that for every action there is and equal or opposite reaction. When the ball hits the bat, the bat applies a ​force on the ball a force on the ball that equals that of the ball on the bat. Even though these forces are equal and opposite, there is a net force on the ball becausethe force act on different bodies.


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Videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRAFjy8Hmec
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oph9BP4lKjs&feature=channel



For more information go to
http://www.kqed.org/quest/dfiles/112a_physicsofbaseball.pdf
http://physicsgroup4.tripod.com/id21.htm
http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/329/lectures/node42.html