Cambrian Park, California
1900 Camden Ave
San Jose, CA 95124
(408) 713-2984

The Physics of Baseball Pitches April 3, 2018

Cambrian Park, Santa Clara County
The Physics of Baseball Pitches, Cambrian Park, California

The best tutors know that preparing for a STEM field means developing an appreciation for the way math and science describe the physical world. When teaching advanced concepts to high school students, finding applications they are already familiar with can help students internalize difficult material. One helpful example is using baseball pitches to understand advanced physics concepts. Here’s a closer look at this concept.

Understanding the Physics of Baseball Pitches

Gravity, Drag, & Spin

A baseball pitch actually demonstrates three critical physics concepts: gravity, drag, and the Magnus force. While gravity pulls the ball towards the earth, the drag created by friction with the air actually slows it down. The Magnus force describes the effects of spin, which give each type of pitch its unique characteristics.

What Is the Magnus Force?

As the pitcher releases the ball, they can determine the frequency and direction of the spin, allowing them to control its trajectory. The spin of the ball creates areas of higher and lower pressure air, which creates a force at right angles with the movement of the air. For instance, a fastball is typically thrown with backspin, which creates a high-pressure zone of air in front of and underneath the ball. This effect counteracts some of the effects of gravity, and can actually give the ball the illusion of rising.

Curveballs, by contrast, have topspin, which places the higher-pressure zone above the ball, resulting in the characteristic dip in their flight path. One notable example is the knuckleball, which has no spin to counteract the effects of turbulence, making this pitch notoriously unpredictable and difficult to hit.

Our experienced team of tutors at Study Wizards Tutoring has extensive experience bringing physics, science, and math to life for students throughout the San Jose, CA, area. Whether your student is working ahead or struggling with academics, our tutors have the tools to help them succeed. To learn more about our science tutoring services and to schedule a free consultation, visit our website or call (408) 883-8660.

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from Study Wizards Tutoring
Social Emotional Learning , Cambrian Park, California
School equips students with the academic tools they’ll need to compete in the workplace, but it also provides an opportunity to develop empathy, emotional management, and other more
Does Your Child Like Biology? See What Careers That Can Lead to, Cambrian Park, California
The advent of biotechnology and the explosive growth of the biomedical industry offer some incredible possibilities for students who are drawn to Biology. While many Biology more
The Power of Triangles in Life & Math, Cambrian Park, California
The humble triangle is one of the simplest shapes possible. However, this basic polygon is also a fundamental part of several branches of mathematics, as well as many of the more
The Benefits of Calculus in Real Life, Cambrian Park, California
Simple Arithmetic and even Geometry are usually fairly easy to understand, partly because they deal with concrete functions that can easily be seen in daily life. However, many of more
How Good Readers Read, Cambrian Park, California
Reading is the cornerstone of learning and the key to success in the classroom and throughout life. However, strong reading skills extend much further than simply deciphering more