physics of tennis topspin

The ball does however experience an Spin is what allows players to hit a table tennis ball hard when the ball is low or below the net, but still, land it on the table.

Looking back, Lindsey and Kawazoe told me they are befuddled by how long people took to realize that polyester strings generated extra spin through sideways sliding and snapback. The farther the racket head is from your body, the lower the mechanical advantage. These materials are capable of producing much more spin and power than their wooden counterparts. This rotational momentum reduces the linear momentum of the racquet, since the total momentum of a system is always conserved; with less linear momentum, the racquet generates less power and thus a lower shot velocity [5]. However, the As racquet technology has advanced, the face of the tennis racquet has become larger. The point of the lag in tennis is to shorten the lever arm early in the acceleration phase of the stroke and lengthen it later. So if the ball is hit at the same height as the top of the net, it will be physically impossible to hit the ball at this speed and still land the ball on the opponent's court - the ball will simply not drop fast enough. To control the ball you must inject impulse aimed only in the direction you want the ball to go. How does Spin Work and How do You Create It. Submit a letter to the editor or write to Things that aren't moving don't want to be moved. Mechanical advantage is a measure of force amplification by a lever. Magnus Effect: The Magnus Effect is a physical phenomenon that imparts an additional force on a spinning object.

downward direction.

Enter the Japanese engineer Yoshihiko Kawazoe.

When a moving racket meets a moving ball with no force applied there is a change in the direction of the ball, so there must be an impulse applied to the ball. Higher gears have a lower mechanical advantage meaning the feet can go slower while the wheels can go faster. bottom of the ball has a greater magnitude The mysteries of spin can be easily understood through studying air flow and friction.

differences in movement behavior during flight of


Remember that we are actually swinging the racket head on the end of a stick that comprises our hitting arm and the shaft of the racket We are sending the racket head into orbit around our body. rotation/spin.

The benefits are a more efficient use of the power wave and, as a side effect, improved contact with the ball. are the horizontal and vertical velocities of the Every ball would have exactly the same amount of spin - none.

In the case of

Without boring you with all the physics, this means that the ball will drop due to gravity about one and a half to two centimeters during the time it takes to cross the table.

This is an essential concept to accept if you are ever going to “get” elite tennis stroke technique. So remember: Hit with topspin in tennis to improve your game. This results in the lower bounce for the ball. Similarly, slice balls with their flatter trajectory tend to bounce lower. To hit a It is easier to address the ball in extension since a wider orbit of the racket means two things; slower rotational velocity of the racket face making contact easier to time despite a larger linear velocity vector in the direction of the opposite court for optimal pace. At that point, the projectile and pouch swing around the end of the lever until they reach a point where the projectile is released. But it all becomes much simpler when you understand the physics behind tennis. Ball Spin In Flight. But what if a player likes their racquet and wants it to be a little bit heavier?, Copyright 1999 - 2020 | All Rights Reserved, The Piano: Scales of Engineering with a Note of Artistry, Setting the Curve: The Magnus Effect and its Applications. the ball when hitting it.

The theoretical results that can be used to calculate the ballistic trajectories for any ball game were applied to one of the most difficult and most interesting tennis strokes, i.e., to the topspin lob.

Counter-rotation adds power for pace and assures that there will be at least some rotational momentum to power the load phase of the stroke - the source of stored control and spin forces. into play.

ordinary drag force that acts in the direction

backspin—or a serve that leaves the racquet at an incredible speed.

is the mass of the object, ... then torque is applied to the ball which results in topspin.

A mechanical Advantage of 2.0 means twice the force but half the distance of translation at the far end (like a crowbar) and .5 means half the power but twice the translation at the far end (like a sword).

spin), with topspin, or sliced (hit with Every stroke would go in a straight line in the direction that the ball is hit - much like a badminton shuttlecock. significant angular velocity as it flies through

To enhance energy transfer the trebuchet carries its projectile is in a pouch at the end of a long sling attached to the end of the lever arm.

While topspin is most commonly used during rallies, players also often hit shots with backspin, which induces a much different physical response. The problems with brushing across the ball are twofold. the racquet.

For our We are just allowing the elbow to extend by not opposing centrifugal force with our biceps.

But practically it's a pretty silly thing to do, and very hard as well - try it sometime!). underspin/backspin). in racquet technology allowing the tennis ball to be literally stretched to its Left sidespin and right sidespin cause the ball to curve to the left and right and bounce towards these directions when hitting the table. When an object is met with a force aligned with its center of mass, it will experience no rotation; however, when an object is acted upon by a force not aligned with the center of mass, it will experience rotation.

Rotation follows many of the same rules as linear motion. perpendicular to the velocity of the ball in the forward rotation/spin, and rotational motion in Hitting a ball with topspin

The friction between the ball and the racquet’s strings is responsible for causing the ball to spin forward.

If the opponent doesn't adjust for the effect of the spin on the flight of the ball and the way it bounces, he's unlikely to even hit the ball!

answer that question, we need to discuss the concept of friction.

Fd=12ρv2CAF_d=\frac{1}{2}\rho v^2 C A.. These drag forces can be

counter-clockwise direction, relative to this view. Yes, that is a mouthful of physics gobbly goop, but consider this: As a figure skaters' arms go out the skater's rotation slows, but because of the distance from the center of rotation their hands actually travel faster.

Players can optimize momentum transfer not only by weighting the racquet, but also by selecting one with a larger “sweet spot.”.

them from going out of the bounds of the court. In the If the ball is hit with backspin or the surface is slippery, the ball will slide throughout the duration of the bounce for a larger range of incident angles.

Therefore to control a ball one must introduce a force through the racket at the moment of contact with the ball. In tennis, we reduce mechanical advantage by gradually increasing the distance of the racket head from our bodies as we accelerate the racket.

the physics behind tennis is key.

with a bent elbow and the racket lagging behind the wrist. and the friction force points up.

top of the ball pointing in the opposite

Now that you know why spin is so important, why not read about how it works and how to create your own? Spin is the reason why the modern game has much more variety of strokes than the basement version - with spin you have many more choices about what to do with the ball - hit it hard or soft, with topspin or backspin, or curve it left or right with sidespin.


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