Tags: basketball | backspin | magnus | effect | video

Basketball Backspin's Magnus Effect Makes for Cool Experiment

Image: Basketball Backspin's Magnus Effect Makes for Cool Experiment
A team of scientists from Veritasium drop a basketball with some backspin down Australia's Gordon Dam to illustrate the Magnus Effect. (YouTube)

By    |   Friday, 17 Jul 2015 10:25 AM

A video showing how the Magnus effect is applied to a basketball with backspin has gone viral with more than 5.8 million views on YouTube since it was posted Wednesday.

The video clip from science video maker Veritasium features efforts by the Australian trick basketball team How Ridiculous to make a basket by dropping a ball off the Gordon Dam in Tasmania some 415 feet up, according to The Huffington Post.

In one attempt, a member of the team adds backspin as he drops the basketball, and the sphere's arch bends as it flies away from where it was dropped into what appears to be a river below before exploding. Veritasium's Derek Muller said the ball movement and subsequent flight happened because of something called the Magnus effect.

"As the basketball picks up speed, air on the front side of the ball is going the same direction as its spin, and therefore it gets dragged along with the ball and deflected back," Muller said.

"Air on the other side is moving opposite to the ball's spin, so the flow separates from the ball instead of getting deflected. The net result is the ball pushes the air one way so the air applies an equal force on the ball the other way."

The Magnus effect, discovered by Gustav Magnus in 1852, is employed in virtually all sports, particularly baseball, where the pitcher's use of the effect allows them to throw such pitches as curveballs, sliders, screwballs, and knuckleballs, according to the website Human Kinetics.

The flying basketball caught the fascination of social media users.








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A video showing how the Magnus effect is applied to a basketball with backspin has gone viral with more than 5.8 million views on YouTube since it was posted Wednesday.
basketball, backspin, magnus, effect, video
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2015-25-17
Friday, 17 Jul 2015 10:25 AM
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