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The physics of basketball

  1. May 23, 2017 #1
    I've got a character who's from another planet who gets pulled into a pick-up game of three-on-three. No, seriously.

    So, how would a being who saw the game purely as physics in motion describe things like lining up shots and things like that? Just curious. Nothing elaborate. Just your common everyday kind of moves.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2017 #2
    Okay, looks like I'm not getting a lot of traction with this one. In your defence, though, my initial request was hella vague.

    So, here's a brief selection from my first draft, the bit where it gets quasi-technical. If a few people could review it to see if I've committed any egregious errors I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.


    She passed the ball from hand to hand, getting a feel for its mass. The breeze riffled through her antennae and she factored the wind flow velocity into her calculations. The game was little more than dynamic physics, a nuanced blend of gravity, drag, buoyant force, relative motion, and what the Earthlings called Magnus effect. She had a pretty good handle on the theory. Just needed to get some practical experience under her belt, as the humans would say. Even if a belt would have just slid right off her.

    Use the conservation of angular momentum to your advantage, dearest one, her mother said.

    Yes, starchild, said her father. Release the ball from your fingertips to better diffuse the ball’s forward motion when it collides with fixed objects.

    I believe they call that backspin, said Gleipnock.
  4. Jun 16, 2017 #3

    stefan r

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    Gold Member

    physics girl covers it well.
    Also check out these kicks:
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