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Short Title

Magnus Effect on a Volleyball

Keywords

projectile motion, drag, Magnus, lift, video analysis

Subject Area

Physics

Type of Submission

Article

Abstract

Though a qualitative understanding of how spin affects a ball’s trajectory can
be easily developed, a quantitative one is relatively difficult to hone. Additionally, although
projectile motion is an extensively covered topic in introductory physics courses, friction and
drag—let alone spin—receive little to no attention. Here we use a volleyball and video modeling
software to compare the behavior of a non-spinning ball with one that has topspin in order to
assess the accuracy of our various models
incorporating drag and the Magnus effect.

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