Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How To Hit Home Runs

Date:
December 2, 2003
Source:
University Of California Davis
Summary:
A new study of the science behind baseball batting shows the best way to hit a home run -- if you can do the math fast enough.

A new study of the science behind baseball batting shows the best way to hit a home run -- if you can do the math fast enough.

In the November issue of the American Journal of Physics, Gregory Sawicki, a UC Davis graduate student now at the University of Michigan, UC Davis mechanical engineering professor Mont Hubbard and William Stronge, a professor of engineering at the University of Cambridge, England, show what makes the ball fly farthest when it comes off the bat.

The study turned up some surprises. Popular wisdom says you can hit a fastball further than a curve ball, but it turns out the opposite is true, Hubbard said.

That's due to the spin of the ball. Curve balls are thrown with topspin so the top of the ball rotates in the direction of flight. When hit by the bat and thrown into reverse, curve balls automatically have backspin which gives them lift and carries them further. Fastballs are thrown out with backspin, so they spin the other way when hit, have less lift and sink faster.

To generate more backspin, the batter should hit the ball a bit below the center, although it's unlikely batters have much time to think about that, Hubbard said.

The study was prompted by longtime UC Davis baseball coach Phil Swimley, now retired, who asked Hubbard if he could work out whether rolling the wrists during batting was useful. It turns out to have very little effect, Hubbard said. Nor does using an aluminum rather than a wooden bat.

The most important factor in hitting a homer was the speed of the bat when it hits the ball, Hubbard said. The faster, the better.

Hubbard says studying the physics behind baseball gives him a stronger appreciation of the instinctive skills of great batters.

"How they do it with so much power and so quickly is amazing," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California Davis. "How To Hit Home Runs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031202070954.htm>.
University Of California Davis. (2003, December 2). How To Hit Home Runs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031202070954.htm
University Of California Davis. "How To Hit Home Runs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031202070954.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins