The Magnus Effect demonstrated with a basketball

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TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA – Every major league pitcher wishes they had “this” kind of movement! A video making the rounds is going viral all thanks to a spinning ball and some quirky science.

A couple of dudes from down under, dropped a basketball from a height of 415 feet off Tasmania’s Gordon Dam to demonstrate something called “The Magnus Effect.” Their demonstration is very effective!

Instead of taking the straight path down, the spinning basketball seems to defy gravity by sailing across the chasm and into the water below. This movement is caused by “The Magnus Effect,” which affects all rotating balls as they fly though the air.

It’s how someone can bend it like soccer star David Beckham, or why some pitchers can baffle batters.

But how do these curve balls, curve? As the basketball experiment showed, while the spinning ball was falling, the side that was moving in the “same direction” as the rushing air deflected it back. Meanwhile, the other side of the ball spinning “against” the air creates “drag”. So, as one side of the ball pushes air out of the way, it lessens the pressure and propels it forward, away from the drag.



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