Plotting the flight path of a knuckleball
A knuckleball, or a pitch in baseball that has minimal spin, experiences a small lateral force that depends on its orientation. In this situation, were the ball to be rotating slowly, the lateral force would vary sinusoidally, with period equal to one quarter of the period of spin. Because of this phenomenon, a knuckleball tends to change the direction in which it curves during flight. Any baseball fan knows this, and they also know that even some of the best professional hitters have trouble hitting a knuckleball. This project will use python 3 to code simultaneous differential equations for a knuckleball’s position in three dimensions with respect to time and plot the flight path of the ball from the catcher’s perspective, the third baseman’s perspective, and the overhead perspective, with the goal of visually representing how unorthodox the ball’s flight path is relative to other baseball pitches.