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Essay on The Physics of a 500 foot Mark McGwire Home Run are Unlikely

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On September 8, 1998 Mark McGwire conquered the previous home run record set in a single season by Roger Maris in 1961. The event was memorable to most fans when he defeated Roger Maris, and finalized baseball's new season record of 70 home runs. Mark McGwire was a powerful man and he was known for his ability to smash baseballs great distances. However, many disagree that he was able to launch a baseball 500 feet and beyond. No doubt, this is a great distance to project a baseball. Many years ago during the era of Babe Ruth, another powerful hitting legend, there were articles written claiming that he blasted a hit that carried further than 600 feet, let alone 500 feet. However, many journalists falsified the truth exaggerating the distance. Many critics today simply do not believe that a distance of 600 feet could be achieved, and without historical proof, it remains a myth. In 1991, Cecil Fielder was credited with slamming the only confirmed home run traveling 502 feet according to a new distance system that was developed. We will examine many equations and calculations that govern the projection of objects such as a baseball. Through these calculations we will scrutinize the variables involved that causes this type of projection (Jenkinson 1996).

First we will examine the primary factors involved with projectile motion in an ideal situation, where no air resistance is involved.

These factors are:

*
Initial Velocity
*
Initial Height
*
Initial Angle
*
Gravitational Force

These are the four primary factors. The initial velocity is the speed and direction of the object right as it begins its trajectory. The initial height may vary also. In the case of a baseb...


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...d, and the many other variables under certain circumstances proves the challenge difficult. Yet he was still an American hero.

Works Cited



Carmichael, Ralph. "Numerical Procedure for Computing the Trajectory of a Baseball." 2003. 16 Nov. 2004 .

Elert, Glenn. "Force of a Bat on a Baseball." 2000. 18 Nov. 2004 .

Giordano, Nicholas. "Computational Physics." New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1997.

Jenkinson, William. "Long Distance Home Runs." 1996. 11 Nov. 2004 .

Lowry, E.D. "Interior Ballistics." New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1968.

Mathews, John. "Projectile Motion and Air Resistance." 1998. 16 Nov. 2004 .


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