The Physics of Baseball

05-01-2014 / By: X Bats

A ball that would travel 400 feet in "normal" conditions goes:

6 feet farther if the altitude is 1,000 feet higher
4 feet farther if the air is 10 degrees warmer
4 feet farther if the ball is 10 degrees warmer
4 feet farther if the barometer drops 1 inch of mercury
3 1/2 feet farther if the pitcher is 5 mph faster
30 feet farther if struck with an aluminum bat

To hit a ball the maximum possible distance, the trajectory off the bat should have a 35-degree angle.

A line drive travels 100 yards in 4 seconds. A fly to the outfield travels 98 yards in 4.3 seconds.

An average head wind (10 mph) can turn a 400-foot home run into a 370-foot routine out.

A curveball that seems to break over 14 inches never actually deviates from a straight line more than 3 1/2 inches. Part of the ball's deviation from a straight line is governed by the equation:

[delta]P=PR-PL=1/2 ├×air [vL2 - vR2 ]

which describes the magnitude of the pressure differential between the left and right sides of a rotating, thrown baseball.

here is no possible way (excluding softball) to throw a rising fastball that actually rises.

Excluding meteorologically strange conditions, a batted ball cannot travel longer than 545 feet.

The collision of a bat and baseball lasts only approximately 1/1000 of a second.

Good news for batters: The "muzzle velocity" of a pitched baseball slows down about 1 mph every 7 feet after it leaves the pitcher's hand, that's a loss of roughly 8 mph by the time it crosses the plate.

Bad news for batters: If you swing 1/100th of a second too soon a ball will go foul down the left field side (right handed batter). 1/100th of a second too late and it's foul in the right field seats, and the decision to swing has to happen within 4/100th of a second.


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