Backspin Basketball Flies Off Dam
100 Comments


Recently some friends of mine went to the Gordon Dam in Tasmania, which is 126.5 meters (or 415 feet) high. Then they dropped a basketball over the edge. You can see that the basketball gets pushed around a bit by the breeze, but it lands basically right below where it was dropped. Now watch what happens when they drop another basketball, but this time with a bit of backspin… “Woah, look at that go!” “That’s incredible.” “This is Bret who just threw it.” I litterally just dropped it, with a bit of spin, like I didn’t even throw it, and it just took off, like we had no idea that was gonna do that. And this is where I come in: the basketball was subject to the Magnus effect, which affects all rotating balls or cylinders as they fly through the air. And it works like this: as the basketball picks up speed, air on the front side of the ball is going in the same direction as its spin, and therefore it gets dragged along with the ball and deflected back. Air on the other side is moving opposite to the ball spin, so the flow separates from the ball instead of getting deflected. The net result is the ball pushes air one way, so the air applies an equal force on the ball the other way. And this is known as the Magnus effect, named after Heinrich Gustav Magnus who described it in 1852. Of course, Isaac Newton beat him to it by nearly two hundred years, describing the flight of tennis balls at Cambridge College. But, you know, he’s got enough stuff named after him…. This effect is very important in sports like tennis, soccer and golf, but could it have non-sport applications? Perhaps. This is a sailboat. I know it doesn’t look like a sailboat, but those aren’t chimneys. They are spinning cylinders called “Flettner rotors”, and they take the place of the sails. They deflect crosswinds, using the Magnus effect, to propel the ship forwards. And this is a plane with spinning cylinders instead of wings. Using the Magnus effect, the cylinders actually generate more lift than traditional wings. However they also generate way more drag, making them impractical. This place only flew once, and then it crashed. But the Magnus effect is making a comeback. Here is an experimental rotor wing aircraft which generates all its lift from spinning cylinders. And this is the E-Ship 1 which uses four spinning cylinders (that’s four Flettner rotors) to increase its efficiency and reduce the amount of diesel it burns. So, in the future, the Magnus effect may help more than just basketballs fly. “Woah, look at that go!” Now the real reason my friends from “How Ridiculous” were at the dam was to set the world record for the highest basket ever scored. So go check out their channel and the video, and subscribe to them for more epic trickshots.

100 thoughts on “Backspin Basketball Flies Off Dam

  1. I think the spin enemptys one side of air around the ball and we all know that if there is an empty space the pressure will fill it with anything so now the pressure will force the second side of air around the ball to fill the empty space and during that process the air will face an obstacle which is the ball causing it to move into the empty space… ➡🏀🗑
    The basket is the empty space
    The arrow is the pushed air by pressure

  2. I thought the ball's altered path was due to the bernoulli effect, moreso than the magnus effect. if you notice balls mostly affected by magnus effect are pulled away from the direction of spin. The ball that fell of the dam however was pulled toward the direction of the spin.

  3. The video got plagiarized. The video actually belongs to how ridiculous. I bet half of you didn't even know they were Aussie. Veritisarum plagiarized the video for his own. Has not even friends with how ridiculous

  4. なるほど。
    野球におけるストレートとはボールに縦回転を与える球種でボールは重力に逆らうかのようにまっすぐ進んでいくんやな?いわゆる変化球ですか。

  5. Yet in another universe some people using another ball spinning trick on journey to gather some corpse parts while doing a horse race across America

  6. I JUST nowrelised how a curve ball thats thrown works and now it makes sense how to throw one,I never understood how spinnning the ball when throwing it would make it curve.

  7. Ronaldinho: this video is an easier way to describe how i do my corners and free kicks to the young ones at the academy…. 😂

  8. 英語わかんないけど、すごいワクワクした!

  9. You didn't explain the magnus effect well. The effect is due to aerodynamics and the differential velocity of flow in each side….low pressure is what pulls the ball towards rotation direction

  10. 歌覺得不錯耶,因為搭配舞蹈超帥!雖然Jiwoo mv妝跟衣服是滿特別的XD 但舞台超棒~!

  11. Fantastic video. Fantastic explanation. Fantastic examples. And… a fantastic shot !…
    🙂
    From Brussels, with Love…

  12. 何言ってるかわかんないけどとりあえずバスケットボールで水切りをしたいことはわかった(見当違い)

  13. ㄹㅇ 이 영상으로 마그누스 문제 대입해서 풀자너 ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

  14. Так и не понял как это работает но очень познавательно!

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