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The formula for the perfect goal


While the news might come frustratingly late for the England team, physics students at the University of Leicester have just calculated the formula for the perfect goal.

They found a relationship between the amount a football bends in the air, the speed it travels and the angular velocity applied to the ball. When the ball spins in the air there's something called the Magnus force which causes it to curl sideways. They developed the following equation to explain:

So the distance the ball bends (D) is a result of the force added to the ball (R), the density of air (p), the ball's angular velocity (w), its velocity through the air (v), its mass (m) and the distance travelled by the ball (x).

All of this means that a player will need a tape measure, a calculator and a lack of defenders to score the perfect goal. Thanks science.

You can read the complete paper here.

(Images: University of Leicester, Flickr Creative Commons: Antonio Martínez)



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