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Game On



When playing tennis, one way to control your shots is by putting spin on a ball. Tennis players do this by applying a force to the ball in different ways. This produces a different torque on the ball, changing its path after it bounces. If a ball is hit “flat” it is pretty predictable that the ball will bounce back at the same angle that it landed. To eliminate some of this predictability, a player can hit different shots that add top spin and back spin. When a player is at net, and their opponent is on the base line, a smart decision might be to hit drop shot. When a drop shot is hit, the torque is applied downward at an angle, which causes the ball to travel forward, but spin backwards. This means that when it lands and bounces back up due to its momentum, the ball will bounce back up, but more away from the opponent and back towards the net. By using physics and torque, tennis becomes much more interesting to play and watch.



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