Mind-Blowing Basketball Drop Demonstrates the Magnus Effect, Which Is Basically Magic (Videos)

magnus effect basketball drop

Almost any time you watch a sport played with spherical balls—including baseball, soccer, golf, tennis—you’re seeing a principle of aerodynamics called the Magnus Effect in action.

You see, the Magnus Effect explains why a curveball curves or a slider slides. It explains why a soccer ball bends into the net. It explains why a golf ball seems to rise when it’s hit off the tee. And it explains why a tennis ball dips over the net.

So what the hell is the Magnus Effect? Well, while attempting to set a new world record for highest basketball shot by dropping balls off a 400-foot damn in Tasmania, a group of YouTube dudes recently performed an inadvertent experiment that demonstrates the Magnus Effect perfectly. So they gave the footage to their friends over at Veritasium, a science and engineering YouTube channel, and they explained the physics of it all.

It’s pretty insane. Take a look:

So basically, when a rotating ball is travelling through the air, air pressure is higher on the side of the ball spinning against the flow of air. Thus, the ball will curve in the direction of the spin.

Want to see more? Here’s how the Magnus Effect comes into play in soccer:

And here’s how it comes into play in baseball:

Yep, science is awesome.

Hat Tip – [ILFscience]

Tags: basketball, Golf, MLB, Soccer, sports science,