The spinning ball spiral

Abstract : We discuss the trajectory of a fast revolving solid ball moving in a fluid of comparable density. As the ball slows down owing to drag, its trajectory follows an exponential spiral as long as the rotation speed remains constant: at the characteristic distance L where the ball speed is significantly affected by the drag, the bending of the trajectory increases, surprisingly. Later, the rotation speed decreases, which makes the ball follow a second kind of spiral, also described in the paper. Finally, the use of these highly curved trajectories is shown to be relevant to sports. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
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Guillaume Dupeux, Anne Le Goff, David Quéré, Christophe Clanet. The spinning ball spiral. New Journal of Physics, Institute of Physics: Open Access Journals, 2010, 12 (septembre), pp.09300. ⟨10.1088/1367-2630/12/9/093004⟩. ⟨hal-01021119⟩

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