Posted on: Thu,Mar 17th 2011
What happens to a ball when it hits a bat?
It comes in at around 100 km/hr, reverses direction, and bounces off the bat 0.001 seconds later.
But what happens during that 0.001 second it is on the bat?
Assuming that the ball is hit in the middle of the bat and heads off straight back to the bowler, all that happens is that the ball squashes, comes to a complete stop, expands back to its original shape and then leaves the bat.
If the ball comes off at some other angle, then it hits the bat at an angle and starts to slide across the bat. As it does so, it slows down in a direction perpendicular to the face of the bat and it slows down in a direction across the bat.
In addition it will start to rotate if it had no rotation to start with, otherwise the rate of rotation will either decrease or increase depending on the original direction of rotation. The part of the ball in contact with the bat will then grip the bat without any further sliding or rolling, while the rest of the ball continues to rotate. The ball therefore gets twisted out of shape as well as getting severely squashed.
As the ball starts to come off the bat it expands back towards its original shape, it releases its grip on the bat, there is a sudden change in the rate of rotation, and the ball slides backwards off the bat. Most likely, the ball will come off the bat spinning much faster than it was before it hit the bat.
High speed video: Ball collision
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