The Ball is in Your Court
The moment of impact between tennis ball and racket, as viewed through computer simulations, reveals how crucial this encounter is to resulting flight of the ball. The same can be said for the shuttlecock in badminton. Modern predictive models show that improvements in tennis rackets — which primarily focus on reduced mass and increased structural stiffness — produced a 17.5 percent improvement in serving speed between 1870 and today. Making further improvements requires more complex and less obvious changes — such as the coefficient of friction (COF) between the strings and the ball, as well as the position of the racket’s balance point.
Learn about the latest in tennis equipment simulations from Tom Allen of Manchester Metropolitan University, and badminton simulations from John Hart of Sheffield Hallam University. Discover how their in-depth investigations using computer-based models to study tennis and badminton could play a key role in the future development of these popular sports.