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When the Bat and the Ball Collide

We get glued to the sight when a baseball player hits the ball with the bat. We get pumped up when a player scores a homerun. We get lost as the game progresses. This is how we, spectators, get drowned with baseball.

We fail to realize that there is more to know than the collision between the ball and the bat. Would you believe that there is science when the bat hits the ball? What we think as an ordinary baseball phenomenon has so much scientific phenomena in it.

When the Ball Meets Bat

What should we know about thecollision? When the bat hits the ball, a significant amount of deformation happens to the ball. After the collision, the speed of the ball is reduced. The effect is measured as the coefficient of restitution (COR). The COR roughly decreases linearly with increasing ball velocity.

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The Bat that Does the Trampoline

During the collision of the ball and the bat, the ball undergoes deformation with its speed lessened. The ball also changes direction towards where the bat sways. But what happens to the bat? The bat also undergoes some compression during the collision. The barrel of the bat compresses and expands, appearing to throw the ball away, paving the way for a unique to phenomenon called the “trampoline effect”.

The Force to Reckon With

The collision between bat and ball produces an extremely violent impact. The bat exerts a considerable amount of force on the ball. This causes the ball to change its direction and travels away from the batter while it is accelerating. The force that the bat exerts on the ball is not constant during the entire duration of the contact. Instead, it follows more of a sine-squared time history, starting and ending at zero and peaking approximately half way through the duration of contact.

Momentum Produced

During the collision and contact of the bat and the ball, the player is exerting the force needed to swing the bat. The momentum, in this case is not constant because of the force exerted by the player swinging the bat. Come to think of this. The force on the bat exerted by the player is much smaller compared to the forces between bat and ball during the collision.

The collision of the baseball and the bat may just be an ordinary observation for players and spectators during the game.  However, it should be noted that every student gets to concretize some concepts in Physics. Baseball bats and balls, during collisions, do not only make homeruns. They produce a sight filled with so much force and momentum.

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