a game played with beautiful simplicity. But beneath
that simplicity lay some rather complex physics.
The first program in this series takes a look at the
physics of the pitch. There's a lot of exciting physics
to explore in the 60-feet-6-inch path from the pitching
rubber -- 10 inches above the playing field -- to
the batter standing at home plate. The Pitch takes
a look at gravity, air drag and the Magnus force (three
forces controlling trajectory once the pitcher releases
the ball) and how the pitcher can use these forces
to manipulate the path of the ball.
The second video picks up where the
first one left off; this one emphasizes the perspective
of energy. The Hit focuses on kinetic energy,
the coefficient of restitution and Newton's laws of
motion, as well as how the quantity of energy of speed
and mass changes as a result of the batter hitting
What's baseball without players running
the bases? The third program looks at how ball players
apply Newton's first and second laws when they are
running the bases. While base running is strictly
between the runner and the clock and has nothing to
do with the forces between the bat and ball, there's
still plenty of physics to explore. Running the
Bases takes a look at the concepts of force, mass,
inertia and acceleration.
The final program is devoted to the ball's flight
after the batter's hit. The Flight takes into
consideration perfect projectile motion, launch angle,
air drag, turbulence, temperature, air density and,
of course, the Magnus force -- all the factors that
go into sending a baseball from home plate over the
fence more than 350 feet away.