Let’s Use Physics to Model a Curving Soccer Ball
It’s that World Cup time of the year–so that intends it’s likewise time to talk about soccer physics. What about the impossible kick? The “impossible” kick has a ball leave the ground and then take a curved track while in the air. Of course it’s not actually impossible, but it is difficult to pull off.
I’m not going to actually kick a soccer ball, but instead I want to use basic physics to model the motion of a ball. Let’s start with the simplest possible case–a soccer ball kicked without the implications of air. Yes, that is unrealistic, but it’s helpful to start with an idealized situation and then make it more complex after that.
Here is a ball at some level after it was kicked.
In this case, there is only one army acting on the ball after it was kicked–the gravitational force. I have also included a vector to represent the momentum of the ball at this instant where the momentum is produced of the mass and velocity. The momentum is important because the nature of a net force-out is to change the object’s momentum.