A soccer ball curves when you kick it because the
ball itself is spinning. By spinning, the
ball unevenly deflects the air that’s traveling
around it. To balance that deflected air, the
soccer ball will experience a force that is
perpendicular to the way it’s moving. It is this
perpendicular force that pushes the ball to make
This phenomenon is generally called the Magnus
Effect, and it shows up in other sports, too!
A couple examples I can think of are putting
topspin on a tennis serve, or pitching a curveball
You will have to kick the soccer in the right
way to make its orbit curve, in particular, you
have to make it spin around its own center. When
the soccer ball spins around its own center while
moving forward in air, there is a "Bernoulli
Equation" in hydrodynamics one can use to
prove that, the air pressure on one side of the
soccer is stronger than the other side, thus the
soccer will curve to its side. Whether it
curves to the left or right, depends on the
direction of its spinning.
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