Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/200

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
196
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

One very familiar property of slicing and pulling is that the curvature due to them becomes much more pronounced when the velocity of the ball has been reduced, than it was at the beginning when the velocity was greatest. We can easily understand why this should be so if we consider the effect on the sideways motion of reducing the velocity to one half. Suppose a ball is projected from A in the direction AB, but is sliced; let us find the sideways motion BC due to slice. The sideways force is, as we have seen, proportional to the product of the velocity of the ball and the velocity of spin, or if we keep the spin the same in the two cases, to the velocity of the ball; hence, if we halve the velocity we halve the sideways force, hence, in the same time the displacement would be halved too, but when the velocity is halved the time taken for the ball to pass from A to B is doubled. Now the displacement produced by a constant force is proportional to the square of the time; hence, if the force had remained constant, the sideways deflection BC would have been increased four times by halving the velocity, but as halving the

PSM V78 D200 Cross wind effect on the flying ball rotation.png
Fig. 26.Fig. 27.

velocity halves the force, BC is doubled when the velocity is halved; thus the sideways movement is twice as great when the velocity is halved.

If the velocity of spin diminished as rapidly as that of translation the curvature would not increase as the velocity diminished, but the resistance of the air has more effect on the speed of the ball than on its spin, so that the speed falls the more rapidly of the two.

The general effect of wind upon the motion of a spinning ball can easily be deduced from the principles we discussed in the earlier part of the lecture. Take, first, the case of a head-wind. This wind increases the relative velocity of the ball with respect to the air; since the force due to the spin is proportional to this velocity, the wind increases this force, so that the effects due to spin are more pronounced when there is a head-wind than on a calm day. All golfers must have had had only too many opportunities of noticing this. Another illustration is found in cricket; many bowlers are able to swerve when bowling against the wind who can not do so to any considerable extent on a calm day.