If You’re a baseball fan, chances are you’ll be glued to the TV this week as the World Series continues. During the downtime between innings, check out a few of these links to uncover some of the mysteries behind curveballs, pitching arms, and how to hit a home run.
Baseball’s not all fun and games?there’s serious science at work here. This fascinating article from MSNBC.com answers odd math and physics-related questions about the game, like why the ?best team doesn’t always have the best record? and whether It’s better to slide head or feet-first.
Curveballs are notorious for their ability to flummox even the most talented hitter. Why can’t we predict well where they’ll end up? This NPR article and interview suggest that the problem lies with our visual perception and the way we see the world. You’ll never look at a curveball the same way again!
What’s the secret to hitting a home run? There’s a lot going on: the legendary sweet spot, pitch speed, swing speed, and more. Popular Mechanics stops time on a home run-hitting swing to demonstrate what’s involved.
Ninety miles an hour seems like blink-and-you’ll-miss-it. Could you react in time to hit a fastball thrown at those speeds? Try the Exploratorium’s simulation to find out!