In a football game ball movement that seem unnatural, that violate physics can occur. Today we are going to address one of these striking effects that we can contemplate in a football match, and also in other sports where a ball is involved: The Magnus effect. Let’s start with the basics and let’s review what the Magnus effect itself is. Named in this way in honor of the great German physicist and chemist Heinrich Gustav Magnus, the first to state this phenomenon of physics, the Magnus effect says that the rotation of any object affects its trajectory through a fluid, such as in the air.
The Magnus effect, named in honor of the German chemist Heinrich Gustav Magnus (1802-1870), occurs when, when hitting a ball, a slightly circular path is achieved, viewed from above, which allows you to dodge the barrier in front of the opposite area or score a goal from the corner (Olympic goal).
This effect takes place as a result of the ball turning on itself while advancing in the air, as Javier Martín explains in 365 amazing curiosities of science, history, and religions:
In these cases, a force appears perpendicular to the axis of rotation and the direction of movement that allows the spherical to describe a curved path but this trick is also used in other sports such as tennis, golf, ping-pong (tennis table) and rugby to get sometimes spectacular movements.
This phenomenon is also the result of other physical phenomena, such as Bernoulli’s principle or the process of forming the boundary layer in the fluid located around moving objects.