Popular Science News | Cricket Ball Swing

Popular Science News – it sounds like a 1940s dance but Cricket Ball Swing is the way that a cricket ball curves rather than travelling in a straight line. It had been noticed that this curve is more pronounced on cloudy days. It was then hypothesised that this was because humidity was causing the seam on the ball to swell and this produced a wider curve. Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Sport Engineering Research discovered that this was not the case.

It appears that a cricket ball curves because the movement of air on opposite sides of the ball is different, that much they know. On one side it is turbulent and the other side it is smooth. This difference creates a movement away from a straight line pushed by the turbulent air.

After a great deal of research they disproved that humidity was the cause and came up with another idea; sunshine or lack of it. On sunny days the air becomes more turbulent and this makes the smooth side less so and therefore there is less imbalance and less curve. On sunless days this isn’t true.

Anyway, the Sheffield Hallam University are now going to throw a lot of balls in their climate chamber, in sunny and cloudy conditions, and using a 3D laser they’ll test their hypothesis; probably while drinking Pimms.

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