Thursday, May 21, 2009

Keep Your Eye on the Ball!

I love optical illusions and this is a good one... The Break Of The Curveball
In baseball, a curveball creates a physical effect and a perceptual puzzle. The physical effect (the curve) arises because the ball’s rotation leads to a deflection in the ball’s path. The perceptual puzzle arises because the deflection is actually gradual but is often perceived as an abrupt change in direction (the break). Our illusions suggest that the perceived “break” may be caused by the transition from the central visual system to the peripheral visual system. Like a curveball, the spinning disks in the illusions appear to abruptly change direction when an observer switches from foveal to peripheral viewing.

Ok, translated, I guess that means that in baseball, about which I know little, the curveball, when thrown, does actually curve but because of this illusion, it appears to actually 'break', which is no doubt, hard to hit.
Never ever having hit...or thrown...a baseball, I will have to take their word for it. But I think it is

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