Friction and Fly Balls!!

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Friction and Fly Balls!!
When you hit a baseball, speed, angle and air resistance all affect how far it travels. Balls hit too low quickly return to Earth; balls hit too high travel a long way vertically, but not far horizontally. Can you find the “sweet spot” where horizontal travel is greatest. Can you find the best angle? Air resistance absorbs kinetic energy from the ball, slowing it. A slow-moving ball has less travel time before gravity pulls it back to Earth. Change air resistance by choosing a different stadium location.
Elevation = 55 Angle = 45 Speed = 70
+ + Hit It!

Select your city/stadium, the angle and speed of the ball when it is hit, and then click “Hit”!! Compare the distance values for different combinations to explore the relationships.

This applet and illustrations are Copyright© 2003, 2011, 2013 by Tom Whittaker, S.V. Medaris, and Steve Ackerman.