In the game of baseball, a pitcher throws a curve ball with as much spin as possible. This spin makes the ball “curve” on its way to the batter. In a typical case, the ball spins at about 20.5 revolutions per minute. What is the maximum centripetal acceleration of a point on the edge of the baseball? Assume the diameter of the baseball is approximately 10 cm.

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  1. centripetal acceleration = R*w^2

    R = 5.0 cm
    w is the angular velocity in radians/sec

    20.5 rpm = 2.15 rad/s

    That would not be much of a curve ball. 20.5 rpm is rather slow rotation and practically a knuckle ball.

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  2. The curve ball spin rate you were given is way off. It is typically over 20 revolutions per SECOND.


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