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Physics on table tennis

  1. Mar 29, 2009 #1
    Hello, I’ve become a keen table tennis player, of which i study physics at A-level, and was hoping to the physics on table tennis, as i have been taught little relevant research on the subject. Of which iv decided to do some research of my own into the subject.
    I have found lots of information on the physics of table tennis but cannot find any relevant information on spin. I want to know how to measure the spin of a table tennis ball? and what it is measured in? I assume it would be revs or torque?

    EDIT: Also what is related to this question i have brought up, the bernoulli principle? or the magnus effect or both? As i was doing my research got the picture that it was the bernoulli principle, but i then brought this up with my physics teacher who said to go and research the magnus effect? If any could clarify for me as both laws seem the same? what is the difference
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2009 #2


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    Both. You see, the magnus effect sets up a boundary layer of rotating air around the ball. This boundary layer then interacts with air outside the boundary layer, in a manner which creates a pressure differential as per the Bernoulli effect.
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