Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The "Sweet Spot" of a Baseball Bat

The sweet spot of a baseball bat is the point at which it feels the best to hit the ball. You know what I'm talking about. There's no excess vibrations traveling from the bat to your hands, and the ball soars out of the park. The sweet spot has a scientific term: the center of percussion.

Every time you hit a baseball bat with a ball, vibrations emanate along the bat in every direction from where it was hit. This is what causes your hands to vibrate when you hit the ball too low or too high on the bat. The center of percussion is the point where all the vibrations in the bat cancel each other out.

This video from the Exploratorium goes into some of the physics behind hitting a baseball, and concludes with a musical application of the center of percussion.

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