Physics of Baseball

Length: 1477 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Essay Preview

Missing Figures

Baseball is a fascinating sport that is exceptionally fun to play. This assignment is all about understanding the physics of a few key aspects of this sport. One might ask what physics could have to do with baseball? Like most sports baseball involves physical motion. Baseball encompasses all three planes of motion through throwing, hitting, and fielding. All of the classical laws of mechanics can be applied to understand the physics of this game.

Baseball is not a difficult game to comprehend, but it can a very long time to achieve a high level of performance. Usually one starts playing this game at a very young age and the first thing they start out with is throwing. Throwing a baseball involves exploiting all major muscle groups in the body to generate a large torque on the arm that will in turn create a high potential for speed when it is released.

Throwing

Throwing is a fairly natural activity for a person. Everyone at some point in time has thrown some object at a person. In baseball throwing becomes an art. Throwing a baseball is a relatively easy task, but throwing it accurately and with a high speed is difficult. People who play this sport spend a very long time perfecting their throw.

When one throws a baseball properly they are using there entire body to generate a large force to propel the baseball. A general throwing position starts with a person rotated 90 degrees from there target with there throwing arm 180 degrees from the target and parallel to the ground. The person then starts rotating their body back towards their target while there throwing arm starts bending until it is almost 90 degrees to their elbow, while the arm is bending at the elbow the throwing arm is rotating such that the arm rotates back almost 180 degrees from the target. Meanwhile the person is leaping forward with the leg that was initially pointed at the target while there other leg is planted into the ground. The person is bending at their waist and the other arm is rotating into their body. Around the point where the driving leg strikes the ground the throwing arm is rotating foreword at a tremendous angular speed and the person lets go of the ball. At the point where the ball is let go the persons body pulls the planted leg forward and the throwing arm finishes its motion towards the driving leg.

MLA Citation:
"Physics of Baseball." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Nov 2018
<https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=153529>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Physics of Baseball Essay

- Finding and understanding the sweet spot on a wooden bat. When you strike a bat against a ball it sends vibrations, much like the vibrations acting on airplanes or bridges, which travel in waves through the bat. This motion is important to understand because every vibration the bat experiences takes energy away from the ball's speed as it leaves the bat. If you hit the ball at a bat's "nodes", the frequencies (each bat vibrates at several low and high frequencies at once, which is like the harmonics of stringed instruments) cancel out and since this happens you don't feel the sting in your hands that you experience when you hit the ball at different points on the bat....   [tags: physics sport sports baseball]

Free Essays
630 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on The Physics of Baseball

- Swinging the Bat for Power Many people might think that swinging the bat straight through the ball would be enough to hit the ball a decent distance off the bat. There's many more mechanics involved in the swinging process. Muscle has only a small part to play in the swinging a bat for power. There are two types of mechanics involved while swinging a bat, Linear and Rotational. Rotational mechanics are the dominant source of power in the swing. Out of the rotational mechanics come the two forces that help generate the speed and power of the swing, torque and the other comes from the energy of rotation....   [tags: Sport Baseball Physics]

Free Essays
1526 words (4.4 pages)

Essay Physics of Baseball

- Introduction Baseball is a fairly simple game, once you understand the simple mix of science involved in baseball. Also, there is much more to the game of baseball than simply hitting and pitching the ball. Here is a few bits of information about a baseball that is hit 400 feet. 1. For each 1000 feet of altitude you can add 7 Feet. 2. For each 10 degrees of air temp you can add 4 Feet. 3. For each 10 degrees of ball temp you can add 4 Feet. 4. For each 1 inch drop in Barometer you can add 6 Feet....   [tags: physics sport sports baseball]

Free Essays
946 words (2.7 pages)

Physics of Baseball Essay

- 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....   [tags: physics sport sports baseball]

Research Papers
1689 words (4.8 pages)

Physics of the Sweet Spot on a Baseball Bat Essay

- The focus of my research is isolating and locating the "sweet spot" on a baseball bat. I chose to avoid presenting raw data, but to examine the science that causes this reaction. Participants of this sport probably have first hand or an intuitive knowledge of this saying. Locating the "sweet spot" can be done at home. A simple experiment of your on can be done using either a wood or aluminum bat. The only apparatus required is a hammer. Gripping the bat by the handle suspend perpendicular from the floor....   [tags: physics sport sports baseball]

Free Essays
566 words (1.6 pages)

The Physics of Cheating in Baseball Essay

- My science report is about whether a corked aluminum bat hits a ball farther than a regular aluminum bat. But first before I get into that boring science stuff, I’ll tell you about the history of baseball. Baseball originated in American before the Civil War (1861-1865) the game was called rounders and was played in sand lots. The first professional team was founded in Cincinnati in 1869. During the 1950’s and 60’s the MLB really took off, it was a time for expansion for the American league and National league....   [tags: bat, corking, distance]

Research Papers
815 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on The Physics of Pitching

- The Physics of Pitching I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the batter, that the only thing I knew about pitching was it was hard to hit. ... Tim McCarver, St. Louis Cardinals catcher, 1972. Most people do not understand pitching, the mechanics, the situations and the how’s and why’s. Today we are going to talk about a few of these. When most people think of pitching they think of a person hurling a 5 oz. ball with 216 red stitches as hard as they can from 60’6”....   [tags: Baseball Physics Pitching Essays]

Research Papers
1278 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Physics of a 500 foot Mark McGwire Home Run are Unlikely

- On September 8, 1998 Mark McGwire conquered the previous home run record set in a single season by Roger Maris in 1961. The event was memorable to most fans when he defeated Roger Maris, and finalized baseball's new season record of 70 home runs. Mark McGwire was a powerful man and he was known for his ability to smash baseballs great distances. However, many disagree that he was able to launch a baseball 500 feet and beyond. No doubt, this is a great distance to project a baseball. Many years ago during the era of Babe Ruth, another powerful hitting legend, there were articles written claiming that he blasted a hit that carried further than 600 feet, let alone 500 feet....   [tags: physics baseball home run]

Research Papers
1642 words (4.7 pages)

Physics : Physics And Physics Essay

- Whether it is the angle needed to swing the bat, the force needed to kick the ball, or the speed needed to run, physics is present in every aspect of every sport. Players become aware at a young age that physics will be a part of their lives for as long as they play a sport, even if they are not aware of it. From the moment a child starts a sport, the many different methods used to improve revolve around physics. Softball is a prime example of this. Physics plays a role in softball because every aspect of this sport requires a certain momentum and force....   [tags: Baseball, Softball, Force, Fastball]

Research Papers
1505 words (4.3 pages)

- ... The tendons that attach these muscles to the shoulder bones can become inflamed and painful, particularly when repetitive overhead activities, shooting the basketball. The injuries are jammed your fingers. Jammed finger can range from a minor injury of the ligaments, which connect bones, to a broken finger. The players needed to allow the injured finger to heal. Players have stretch their thighs and calves and do warm-up exercises before playing to prevent them. The injury often occurs when a player lands on another player 's foot or the ankle rolls too far outward....   [tags: Baseball, Basketball, Pitcher, Baseball field]

Research Papers
1178 words (3.4 pages)

Related Searches

The person is then generally square with the target.

From this one can determine that it isn’t exactly easy to throw a ball properly. To be honest, it takes a lot of talent and hard work to achieve the perfection that major league players have. It is interesting to know that most major league pitchers arms are rotating around 90 to 100 mph during the firing stage.

One of the most interesting things about baseball is the motion of an actual baseball as it travels its path. This motion can be fairly unpredictable at times.

Motion

After you have managed to generate a large amount of torque in your throwing arm the ball will be released. What happens to the baseball? This is where physics can come in handy. When you throw a baseball there are several things that can have a large affect on the motion of a baseball as it is traveling, but a couple of the most important ones are grip and the release point. The reason the grip is so important is because the baseball has raised seams. When the ball is traveling through the air it is rotating. Since there is air resistance the seams play a key role in the motion of the baseball. Just like airplanes can maneuver through the air by means of a rudder and ailerons, the seams in conjunction with the rotation can cause the ball to move in a slightly comparable manor. As the ball is traveling through the air it is creating high and low pressure fronts. The seams can cause turbulence in the motion. Figure 5 shows a picture of the pressure fronts around a baseball.

The reason why grip has a lot to do with the motion of the baseball is it largely determines the rotation of the baseball. Take for an example a paper airplane. Try throwing it a few times while gripping it at different points on the paper airplane. You should notice a difference in the motion of each grip. Throwing a baseball with a different grip acts very much the same. The rotation of the baseball in combination with the way the seam is spinning through the air causes the ball to move in different patterns. A few common pitches are the fastball, curve ball, slider, and the screwball. Each of these pitches has a different spin because of how the player grips the ball. Figure 6 shows a picture of what the spin looks like from the batters view of a right-handed pitcher.

Now comes the interesting part. Not only can most major league pitchers throw upwards in the 90 to 100 mph range, they can also throw pitches that move in wildly unpredictable patterns and change the magnitude of the velocity from pitch to pitch. This is makes hitting at a major league level very challenging.

Hitting
There is very little that can match the excitement one experiences when they hit a baseball flawlessly. This experience although exhilarating is very difficult to do. In the major leagues the ball takes less than a half a second for the ball to cross the plate once the pitcher has released the ball. Given that it takes a quarter of a second to complete a swing, a tenth of a second do decide where to swing, and the time for the ball to cross the plate is about a hundredth of a second. The actual collision lasts for about a thousandth of a second. This happens incredibly fast. In fact, hitting a 90 mph fastball is considered hardest thing to do in any sport according to many experts. "If a person from another planet was told what's involved ... they would say it's impossible," says Porter Johnson, a physics professor at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. [1]

Hitting the baseball perfectly is often called hitting the sweet spot. This location varies on all bats, but it is generally considered to be about 5 to 7 inches from the end of the barrel. When you hit an object with a wood bat at the sweet spot you are hitting the fundamental node. When the bat meets the baseball the collision causes the bat vibrate. Hitting a baseball on the wrong part of the bat can be painful, especially on a cold day. If you hit the ball at the fundamental mode the bat doesn’t vibrate. In physics the collision of the bat and the ball is considered elastic. An elastic collision between two objects is one in which the total kinetic energy and total momentum is the same before and after the collision. When you swing a bat you are doing work. If the collision causes the bat to vibrate it is doing work and hence it is using energy. Since the energy is conserved, the energy from the collision must equal the energy of the system after the collision. The collision causes the bat to vibrate hence there is less energy that can be transferred to the ball because energy from the collision was used in the vibrations.