Let's assume a bowling ball is falling to the ground. It will have a certain impact when hitting the ground. Is that impact only depending on the height it's falling from and the weight of the bowling ball itself or would a rotating ball have a different impact to the ground?

  • $\begingroup$ This question is about bowling not about physics. $\endgroup$ – my2cts Jun 17 '18 at 10:39
  • $\begingroup$ The bowling ball is just for illustration, could be any other object falling. $\endgroup$ – Bruno E. Jun 17 '18 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ The you could make the question a physical one by specifying friction conditions, direction of spin and velocity. $\endgroup$ – my2cts Jun 17 '18 at 10:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Search YouTube for "Magnus effect" to see some falling objects where the trajectory is altered by the rotation. $\endgroup$ – rob Jun 17 '18 at 12:11

Assuming a perfectly spherically symmetric object the rotation state does not impact the vertical force upon impact. In general it does affect the horizontal friction force on the object and the reaction force on the surface it falls on. Back spin will cause more wear and will also heat up the surface.


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