# Physics of Soccer

Length: 703 words (2 double-spaced pages)

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What makes the ball curve: Soccer players can make the ball curve by applying a Force, kicking, to the ball that is not in the center of the ball itself. When the ball is struck on the side by a player the ball spins while it is moving forward. In the case of the picture below, the soccer ball was struck on the right side of the ball and is spinning counter-clockwise. What causes the ball to actually curve in the air is a difference in the pressures on either side of the soccer ball. On the left side of this soccer ball, the air is moving faster, than the right side, relative to the center of the ball. This causes a lower pressure to develop on the left side of the ball, while on the right side there is a higher pressure because the air flow is moving slower relative to the center of the ball. This difference in air pressure causes the ball to curve to the left during its flight path. This curve is known as the Magnus Effect after the physicist Gustav Magnus.

The shape of the soccer ball is…round! But in mathematical terms, the soccer ball is usually in the shape of an Archimedean Solid. This solid has 32 faces, 12 are pentagons and 20 are hexagons. On the Apollo 17 mission astronauts played soccer with a 200 pound moon rock. Just imagine playing any sport with something that heavy…ouch!

There are many different soccer balls in use today. Each company claims that theirs is the best one out there but in all reality soccer players only like to play with soccer balls that they are used to. In fact, the ball used for the World Cup in 2002 was supposed to be the best one ever made by Adidas but many of the players in the World Cup hated it because it was new and they weren’t used to it.

When asked the question: “If you dropped a soccer ball from a height of 3 meters and assumed that the ball bounced back up to half its previous height, how long would it take the ball to come to rest?” most people would answer never because it would be continuing to bounce forever, we just wouldn’t be able to tell. However, this statement is wrong.

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"Physics of Soccer." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Jan 2019
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