Magnus Effect

Have you ever imagined what is the science behind an aeroplane flying in the air or a ball swinging in the air? This phenomenon takes place because of the Magnus effect. In this article we will have a detailed discussion on a really important topic the called the Magnus effect.

The Discovery of Magnus Effect

Initially when the phenomena of a base ball going curve through air was not understood by the scientists. The scientists would dismiss saying that it was just an optical illusion. The scientists were wrong as this cannot be called as an illusion because this is the phenomena was actually taking place and it was not an illusion. In 1852 a German physicists called as Magnus described this effect and was successful in explaining this phenomena. The Magnus effect is based on the Bernoulli’s principle.

Understanding the Magnus Effect

This Magnus effect explains that a spinning object in motion exerts a net force on the air. This is based on the Newton’s third law which says that an equal and opposite force is applied on the force exerted.                                        


Let us understand this phenomenon with the help of a diagram. In this diagram the air gets dragged along the direction of motion which causes the force in upward direction. This causes the curving of the ball in the air. In case of an aeroplane the wings of the fast moving aeroplane experiences an upward force which causes the flight to move in upward direction. The flying of an aeroplane is a typical application of the Magnus effect.


 The Magnus effect can also be seen while playing football. The curve shot played in football also experiences a force which causes the ball to curve in the air. The force that the football experiences is called Magnus force. This Magnus force is responsible for the change in the direction of the object. This is how the Magnus effect works. This Magnus effect plays a very important role in today’s world and have a wide range of applications.  

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