Phenomena

The Reverse Magnus Effect

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A good soccer player can kick the ball from the corner of the field into the goal thanks to the Magnus effect. But if you’ve ever tried to play soccer with a smooth ball, you may have noticed that sometimes the ball bends the wrong way! This is the reverse Magnus effect and it’s caused when the boundary layers on either side of the ball switch from turbulent to laminar flow at different times. Dianna Cowern explains (with a little help from yours truly) in the video above. Want to learn more about how roughness affects boundary layers? Check out our companion video on FYFD’s YouTube channel. (Video credit: D. Cowern/Physics Girl)

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