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Kinetic and Potential Energies in Sports

1. Discuss the role of kinetic and potential energies in (a) golf, (b) tennis, and (c) basketball.

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Potential energy is energy that is stored in an object. If you stretch a rubber band, you will give it potential energy. As the rubber band is released, potential energy is changed to motion.

Kinetic energy is energy of motion. A rubber band flying through the air has kinetic energy. When you are walking or running your body is exhibiting kinetic energy.

a) GOLF :
At contact, the club transfers some of its energy into the ball, which then speeds down the fairway. Aerodynamic forces - "lift" (which keeps the ball in the air) and "drag" (which slows the ball down) - then determine how far the ball will go. The coefficient of restitution (or COR) measures how effectively club energy gets transferred into ball speed
The impulse (Force x change in Time) of the impact with the ball propels the ball away from the head of the club at 135 mph. The club is in contact with the ball only about half a millisecond (0.0005 s) and any imperfections in a swing can have a big affect on the way the ball travels in the air. If at impact, the club head points to the left of the ball's correct path then the ball will hook; if ...

Solution Summary

The solution explains the dynamics involved in the games of Tennis , Golf and Basketball. It allows us to understand how one form of energy is converted into the other form during the various steps involved in a particular game.

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