The Rocket Science Of Tennis And Its

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The Rocket Science Of Tennis And Its Racket Essay, Research Paper Its Not Rocket Science, Its Racket Science Remember warm Sunday afternoons when everyone loaded into the car with the intention of spending some family time together? For me, being one of eight children, it was all too familiar. The entire trip was nothing but fighting over what we were going to get, and who got to pick the cereal. Once we got to the popular cereal isle my brothers, sisters, and I were in constant battle deciding between Cocoa Puffs and Trix. What did we end up with though? Kaboom or something generic like that. It was the same thing (that is what my parents always said), but it never really tasted the same. Imagine my fright when I announced that I was going to join the tennis team and I

needed a racket. Just like the cereal, I knew that my parents were interested in saving money. Quality was not in the budget. I had envisioned the Radical Tour 260, the latest and most practical tool for the game of tennis. My parents, on the other hand, had different intentions. We were off to WAL-MART to find the most economical racket that reasonably fit into the budget. At least, that is how my parents explained the situation. Otherwise, in normal language, we were going to pick out the cheapest racket on the shelf. I began arguing, stressing the importance of how the racket affected my skill on the court. I continued rambling and whining, and with that my father issued a challenge: If I could find scientific research backing up my reasoning for needing the Radical Tour 260,

he would be sold. My need for that racket was overwhelming. I did not want to be the only guy on the team without the racket. It just wouldn?t be fair. With that thought, I ran off to the library to start researching. This, my report, is what I gave my parents the next evening. To determine how important the racket is in the success of a tennis player, one must first understand the basic motions of the ball, the many swings affecting the ball, the anatomy of the racket, and how, through the laws of physics, the racket and its actions can be manipulated to ensure success in even the beginning tennis player. To achieve a full understanding of how physics affects the game of tennis, I will begin with defining a few basic physical principles that influence motions of the ball. Next,

I will apply these definitions to several physical characteristics such as the coefficient of friction, speed, resistance, Newton?s Laws, Magnus force, gravitational pull, and the conservation of momentum. Finally, I will use these characteristics to describe how and why the technology of tennis rackets has changed in recent years. The motion of a tennis ball through air is determined by the laws of physics. The way in which the ball goes over the net on a serve is not as simplistic as it might sound. It includes velocity (both final and initial), acceleration of the ball, forces acting on the ball and the angles of motion during the swing and the follow through. Speed is a ratio between the displacement divided by the time it took for the displacement to occur (v=d/t). For

example, imagine a tennis player hits a ball ten yards in two seconds. The average speed of the ball is five yards per second. At some point, the ball may have been going faster or slower than five yards per second, but again it is the average speed. When the velocity of the ball changes, the ball undergoes acceleration. Acceleration is the change in velocity divided by the interval of time. When the tennis ball?s velocity and acceleration are in the same direction, the speed of the ball occurs with time. When the ball?s velocity and acceleration are in opposite directions, however, the speed of the ball decreases with time. Once the ball is first shot into the air, the laws of physics take over and determine where it will go. There is nothing that the player or his or her