Date of Defense




First Advisor

Alan Nathan, Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Second Advisor

Gerald Hardie, Physics

Third Advisor

Niloufer Mackey, Mathematics


The effect of a baseball's spin on its flight path in investigated. The trajectory of a ball is tracked over the first 15 feet of its path with a ten-camera motion analysis system. Initial conditions for a baseball thrown from a pitching machine are determined using a computer-fitting program. The conditions are typical of those found in the game. Ball speeds between 50 to 100 miles per hour and spins of 2000 to 4500 revolutions per minute are considered. Two models for the flight of a spinning baseball are compared with experimental data. The components of the vertical acceleration of a spinning ball are discussed.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only