The Physics of Baseball
Physics is the science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two. Physics can also be defined as the branch of science which treats of the laws and properties of matter and the forces acting upon it; especially, that department of natural science which treats the causes (as gravitation, heat, light, magnetism, electricity, etc.) that modify the general properties of bodies, natural philosophy. The Physics of baseball can be looked at by examining the many different elements of the game, such as: the aerodynamics of the spinning baseball, overall hitting science, the dynamics of the baseball-bat collision, and the peculiar action of the knuckleball.
Over a hundred years ago, Sir Isaac Newton published three laws of motion. His laws provide explanations for observations about motion. We usually do not see these in our everyday life because other objects and forces of nature seem to interfere.
Newton's laws apply to all sports in a variety of ways. It applies to baseball in many facets of the game; the flight of the ball, the curveball, the knuckleball, batting and throwing, and the ball-bat collision. Newton's first law of motion states that any moving object maintains its velocity unless a force is applied to it. Objects of a zero velocity or objects at rest remain at rest unless force is applied to them. Newton's second law states that when a force is applied to an object, the object accelerates; which is increase or decrease of velocity. The greater the force acting on an object, the greater its acceleration. The acceleration also depends on the mass of the object to which force is applied. Mass is the amount of matter in an object. If the same force is applied to two or more objects with different masses, the...