The Physics Of Hitting A Baseball
Hitting the “sweet spot” is something that baseball players strive for. This is the location of the bat that is generally regarded as the best spot for hitting the ball.
It minimizes vibration of the bat and results in the maximum energy delivered to the ball, meaning it travels the farthest.
The “sweet spot” is a special point on the bat which minimizes stinging of the hands when the ball strikes there. Baseball players say that hitting the ball in this location “feels” the best, and results in the most solid hit.
If the baseball strikes outside of the sweet spot a painful stinging sensation is felt in the hands, due to bat vibration. In addition, this undesirable vibration reduces the energy that is delivered to the ball, so it doesn’t travel as far.
Here we are using physics to confirm what baseball players already know from experience.
It’s not easy to hit the sweet spot. For best results, contact with the ball must be made within 1/8″ of this special point. It is the main “good hit” criterion of players.
But it is one of the biggest challenges in Major League sports, where a round ball traveling at 90 mph has to hit a round bat swinging at 80 mph, at precisely this location.
The result is the ball flying off the bat at 110 mph, enough for a home run.
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