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2
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3answers
77 views

Golf: spin direction resulting from striking out of the toe

If a golf club strikes the ball out of the centre of the club face with the club path on the target line through impact, and the face square to target, the ball will move towards the target with no ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

How does a “hammer thrower” that we see in the Olympics, impart so much momentum

How does a "hammer thrower" that we see in the Olympics, build so much momentum into the club? It's sort of like the golf swing, the more momentum, primarily in the club head, the further the ball ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

How do they measure the rotational speed of cricket balls?

The 2013 Ashes series (a cricket thing between England and Australia) are underway as of today and it seems they have a new (to me) gimmick. It appears that they are now able to measure almost ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

In tennis, why does topspin serve bounce higher than flat serve?

When receiving servers (while playing tennis), I've noticed that the tennis ball seems to bounce up higher on me when the server uses a topspin serve than when the server hits a flat serve. Why is ...
55
votes
10answers
6k views

What makes running so much less energy-efficient than bicycling?

Most people can ride 10 km on their bike. However, running 10 km is a lot harder to do. Why? According to the law of conservation of energy, bicycling should be more intensive because you have to ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is ski jumping not suicidal?

At least on television, ski jumpers seem to fall great vertical distances before they hit the ground - at least a few dozen meters, though I couldn't find exact distances via a quick search. And yet ...
7
votes
3answers
968 views

“Relativistic Baseball”

On Randall Munroe’s new blog “what if”, he answers the question: “What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?” http://what-if.xkcd.com/1/ He concludes: ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How many Gs would a driver of the Bugatti Veyron experience on the Ehra-Lessien track when cornering before record attempt?

Apologies if too specific. Watched a documentary National Geographic Megafactories Bugatti Veyron I told an colleague (engineer) about the need to warm the car up and then unleash it on the long ...
7
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3answers
3k views

Physics of a skateboard ollie

Does anyone have a good explanation of the physics and vectors of force involved in the skateboarding trick the ollie (where the skater jumps and causes the skateboard to rise off the ground with ...
22
votes
3answers
7k views

Ice skating, how does it really work?

Okay, some textbooks I came across, and a homework assignment I had to do several years ago, suggested that the reason we can skate on ice is the peculiar $p(T)$-curve of the ice-water boundary. The ...