Tuesday, 21 June 2016

My Essay On The Magnus Effect

Magnus Effect:


Hello there. Have you ever been playing football or baseball and you wanted to curve the ball. So you tried to put a bit of spin on the ball and it was probably the worst throw that you ever delivered. What you were trying to do to the ball would’ve used the Magnus Effect.  



The Magnus Effect is, in simple terms, backspin. When spherical shapes are thrown with backspin, it means that they will go off course from the direction in which they were thrown. For example when someone throws a curveball in baseball, the ball goes off course from the direction that it was originally thrown. That action uses none other, than the magnus effect.



The Magnus Effect has a surprisingly large amount of uses in today’s world, particularly the world’s most elite athletes. It’s not just for making basketball’s fly away. It is used by baseball pitchers when they throw curveballs, sliders, screwballs, and knuckleballs. Soccer players in free kicks and corners. Table Tennis, Tennis and Volleyball players use the magnus effect to make the ball suddenly drop when in mid-air. Back in the early 1900’s, people designed a plane that could be powered by the magnus effect. This crashed after its first flight, so I guess you could say that that was a definite fail. Although that wasn’t the end of magnus-effect powered transportation A boat, designed by Anton Flettner had 4 huge columns that rotated enough so that they could push the ship across the sea. Even though there were a few crashes, it is still used today as a way to move ships across the water.




The Magnus Effect was discovered by Heinrich Gustav Magnus (Formerly Known As Gustav Magnus.) A man who was off wealthy jewish descent and was strictly an experimenter, not a theoretician. He was born in Berlin on the 2nd of May, 1802, and he died in Berlin on the 4th of April 1870, making him 67 at the time of his death.  He was not just famous for discovering the magnus effect though. He also discovered stuff about the absorption in gases in blood, the expansion of of gases by heat, electromagnetic conduction of induction, absorption and conduction of gases by heat and polarization in gases.


Me and Jacob Fowler attempted to do some tests that would show the magnus effect, but none of us could adopt the right technique to throw a curveball. This just goes to show that if you want to do something that involves the magnus effect, you have to be an elite athlete.


The magnus effect comes under the science umbrella of physics. It works air on the front side of the ball is spinning in the same direction as the ball therefore being pushed back. The air on the back then acts as a wall and the forward air then pushes the back of the ball forward. That might have been complicated so I copied this diagram from Wikipedia to help you out


So that is my project on the magnus effect. A simple idea discovered by a top scientist that has a HUGE impact on today’s world.

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