Physics 173 Internet Question of the Week

The Questions

January 26 - January 30, 1998

Question #1:

Use a major search engine to locate the Exploratorium Web site. Once you have the Exploratorium web site, use the buttons from the home page to navigate to the Sports Science section of the Web site. From the Sports Science page, you will find a link to an article on the physics of baseball. The article is titled "How Far Can You Hit One?" and consists of four web pages whose URLs are titled "../mainstory.html", "../mainstory2.html", etc.

Once you have found the article, do the following:

  1. Identify the full URL (address) of the first page of the article.
  2. Describe the search path which you took to find the page (see example description).
  3. Read the full article and respond to the following:
    1. Describe, discuss and explain in detail the impact which air density, viscosity, and humidity have upon the amount of air drag encountered by a baseball during its flight through the air and the ultimate range of the ball.
    2. Accompany you discussion by some of the numerical values provided within the article in order to emphasize your point about the above relationships.

Do a bang-up job on question #1 since it is worth 2 of the 3 extra credit points.


Question #2:

The article on the physics of baseball makes the following statement about the motion of a baseball in the absence of air resistance:

"Say that the ball, struck by the bat, flies into the air at 165 miles per hour, at an angle of 55 degrees. If the ball were flying through a vacuum, the distance it would travel would be determined solely by the ability to resist gravity imparted by its speed and trajectory, and it would travel 799 feet!"

Use the projectile motion principles, equations and calculations discussed this week in conjunction with the following conversion factors to either verify or falsify the above statement. Your calculations must be completely shown in an organized and clear fashion to receive full credit.

Conversion Factors

1.00 m/s = 2.23 mi/hr

3.28 ft = 1.00 m

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Last Updated: January 26, 1998