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Curving a Soccer Ball



Curving a soccer ball, seems easy enough.  Everyone is able to do it, on purpose or accidentally.  All you have to do is kick a soccer ball.  And yet, there is so much physics in how a person can curve a soccer ball.  The reason a soccer ball curves is because the kicker kicks the ball at a certain angle and velocity causing the ball to spin.  However, once the ball is in the air, it is really the air that is curving the ball.  This seems impossible, but the air resistant will curve and bend the ball in a way.  The Magnus effect is a lift force that causes the ball to curve through the air.   As a spinning ball moves through the air, it spins a boundary layer of air that clings to its surface as it travels along. On one side of the ball the boundary layer of air collides with air passing by. The collision causes the air to decelerate, creating a high-pressure area. On the opposing side, the boundary layer is moving in the same direction as the air passing by, so there is no collision and the air collectively moves faster. This sets up a low-pressure area. The pressure differential, high on one side and low on the other, creates a lift force (the Magnus force) that causes the ball to move in the direction of the pressure differential.  The force can applied to any direction, for example, backspin, topspin, and side spin.  Down below, I hope you enjoy the craziest curve shots! 






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I didn't know that the way the balled curved was by the force of it spinning causing high and low pressure areas around the ball. This is super interesting. 


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