What is the Magnus Effect?

Magnus effect is a phenomenon that occurs with spinning objects, this pulls air faster which creates a difference in pressure that moves it into a place of lower pressure. The understanding of this effect has helped understand the movement and conditions of other elements, for example, the ones that are sent to space.

“The Magnus effect is an observable phenomenon that is commonly associated with a spinning object that drags air faster around one side, creating a difference in pressure that moves it in the direction of the lower-pressure side. The Magnus effect often occurs when a spinning sphere (or cylinder) curves away from its principal flight path.

This phenomenon is important in the study of the physics of many ball sports. It is also an important factor in the study of the effects of spinning on guided missiles—and has some engineering uses, for instance in the design of rotor ships and Flettner airplanes.

In terms of ball games, topspin is defined as spin about an axis perpendicular to the direction of travel, where the top surface of the ball is moving forward with the spin. Under the Magnus effect, topspin produces a downward swerve of a moving ball, greater than would be produced by gravity alone, and backspin has the opposite effect. Likewise, side-spin causes swerve to either side as seen during some baseball pitches, e.g. slider. The overall behavior is similar to that around an aerofoil (see lift force), but with a circulation generated by mechanical rotation rather than airfoil action.

The Magnus effect is named after Heinrich Gustav Magnus, the German physicist who investigated it. The force on a rotating cylinder is known as Kutta–Joukowski lift,  after Martin Wilhelm Kutta and Nikolai Zhukovsky (or Joukowski), who first analyzed the effect.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_effect

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