Physics of Baseball

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Ever wonder why a curve ball curves? Or why a bat breaks when it hits the ball? Or how exactly a homerun is hit? Here you will find the answers to these questions. I will discuss a brief history of baseball, forces that are applied in baseball, the curve ball, and what exactly happens when the ball meets the bat.

In the early days of the history of baseball there were several variations of the game known as Rounders, but the game had no set of "official" rules. This game of Rounders eventually led to a game known as Town Ball and then to the game we now know as baseball.

In 1845, a man known as Alexander Cartwright was looking for some recreation with a group of friends. They began to play a version of Rounders, but Cartwright added some new rules to the game. He began to give the game some order and precision. He made the decision that the bases should be set at 90 feet apart and that they should be in a diamond formation. He also decided that there should be 9 players on each team and devised the positioning that is still used today. Cartwright decided that each team would get three outs and then switch sides. He also decided that a 90 degree angle should be used to determine if a ball was playable. This is where we got the foul ball. The beginning of baseball had begun.

The first organized baseball game was between two rival clubs that took place on June 19, 1846 at Elysian Field in Hoboken, New Jersey. The game took place between the Knickerbocker club from New York City and the New York Nine. The New York Nine won the game.

Eventually other people caught onto this sport and clubs all over formed teams that would play against each other. The game spread across the country and became known as the New York game. Lat...

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...ns are caused and more energy goes into the ball causing it go a further distance.

When the ball hits the bat the bat recoils. If the bat recoils then energy is lost into making the ball go further then it would have. Having a heavier bat causes less recoil. Why not have a really heavy bat? Because you need to swing the bat and a faster bat speed causes the ball to go farther.

What makes it go so far? Basically it is the speed of the bat. The speed of the ball is a factor as well but not as much as the speed of the bat. The weight distribution as well as the weight of the bat matters. The heavier the bat the more bounciness the ball will have, also known as the Coefficient Of Restitution (COR). The COR of a base ball is measured at .5. This means that if you were to drop that ball on a hard surface the ball would bounce back up ¼ the distance it left at.

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