# How to control spin of a launched ball

• Nicholas Bunker
In summary, the conversation discusses the challenge of creating a ping pong ball launching system for an engineering course. The goal is to model the distance of the shot based on the launch angle and also compete with other teams. The challenge is to create topspin in order to increase speed but decrease distance traveled. Suggestions include reconfiguring the machine to have vertical wheels and adjusting the relative speed of the top and bottom wheels. It is also mentioned that looking into how tennis ball machines work may provide helpful insights. There is also a question about whether a model showing the effect of spin on the ball's flight will be required.
Nicholas Bunker
Hello, i have to launch a ping pong ball for an engineering course. We have a system set up with two wheels spinning as fast as we can get them and a ping pong ball feeds between them and shoots. Our asignment is to create a model that shows distance shot related to the angle of launch. We also will have a competition where we try and hit the other team. The distances are short so we could decrease the speed of the wheels but because of the nature of the conpetition we want to get as much force out as possible. We also don't want to hit line drives at people because that would defeat the purpose. So my question is, what is the best way to create topspin so we can increase speed but decrease distance traveled. Much like tennis, but much more violent. Should we create a high friction point directly beneath the ball between the spinners? Slightly forward of the spinners? Advice please thank you in advance

You might try replacing the lower spinning wheel with a fixed flat surface.

billy_joule
Or gear the wheels so the top wheel is spinning faster than the bottom. Or have a motor on each wheel running at different speeds.

How do tennis ball machines do it? (Assuming they do do it)

Our wheels are horizontal :/ i will look into tennis machines thank you.

As others said if you reconfigure your machine to have the wheels oriented vertically, adjusting the relative speed of the top vs. bottom wheel should induce spin on the ping pong ball.

Edit: This might be difficult to model, will you be expected to have a model showing how spin will effect the ping pong ball's flight?

## 1. How does spin affect a launched ball's trajectory?

The spin of a launched ball can greatly influence its trajectory. Depending on the direction and amount of spin, the ball may curve, dip, or rise during flight. This can make it difficult for opponents to predict and handle the ball.

## 2. What factors determine the amount of spin on a launched ball?

The amount of spin on a launched ball is primarily determined by the angle and speed at which it is launched, as well as the surface of the ball and the contact point on the player's body or equipment. These factors all contribute to the rotation of the ball.

## 3. How can I control the spin of a launched ball?

To control the spin of a launched ball, you can adjust the angle and speed at which you hit or kick the ball. You can also use different parts of your body or equipment to make contact with the ball, as each will produce a different type and amount of spin.

## 4. Does the spin of a launched ball affect its speed?

Yes, the spin of a launched ball can affect its speed. A ball with backspin will experience upward lift, causing it to travel at a slower speed than a ball with topspin which will experience downward force and travel at a faster speed. Additionally, side spin can also impact the speed of a ball.

## 5. How can I improve my ability to control the spin of a launched ball?

Improving your ability to control the spin of a launched ball takes practice and understanding of the physics involved. You can experiment with different angles and contact points to see the effects on the spin. Additionally, developing good technique and body control can also help you generate and manipulate spin on the ball.

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