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Movement of a shuttlecock

  1. May 23, 2007 #1
    Quite a funny question
    Now when we hit a shuttle cock by racket or any other means, the shuttle cock moves in the direction of the force but halfway the position of the shuttlecock changes ie in the beggning the cock faces us and then at halfway the cock starts facing the opposite player.
    I hope you understand the question:smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2007 #2
    What's your question, exactly?
  4. May 23, 2007 #3
    I think I understand your question a bit.
    The bottom portion of the shuttle cock being heavier than the feathery part has a tendency to point downwards always. Also air drag causes the feathery part to be pushed backwards, away from the opponent as the shuttle moves forward.
    I believe this is the reason why they behave the way they should.
    I don't think there's anything funny in the question, its a good application of physics to sports :smile:
  5. May 23, 2007 #4
    Thankyou but then suppose that we have a single player and he just starts hitting the shuttle cock vertically in this case the shuttle cock travels vertical distance and then at the highest point it changes it behaves strangely ie in the beggining the cock faces us and and then it does something like a somersault and then at it starts coming downwards with the cock facing us.

    Instead of just simply going up and then falling down it does something like a somersault at its peak position
  6. May 23, 2007 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    It doesn't just do the sumersault at peak position (or halfway through it's trajectory), it does it almost immediately after being hit because flying backwards is very unstable due to aerodynamic drag forces.
  7. May 23, 2007 #6
    Yes, I agree with russ. Air drag forces the shuttle cock rounded side to lead in the direction of travel velocity. The turn happens immediately after you hit it and again when the shuttle cock is moving downwards.
    In fact, I just checked with a real one outside, to make sure. That's the first time physicsforums made me exercise!:biggrin:
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  8. May 23, 2007 #7
    Thank you all for the replies:smile:
  9. May 23, 2007 #8


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    Homework Helper

    The first 1/2 summersault is immediate, but the second one occurs just after the peak.
  10. May 23, 2007 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    Well, the shuttlecock is really always pointed in the direction of motion, so it only really flips quickly if it is traveling nearly vertically.
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