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5000 fps Camera Reveals the Physics of Baseball 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-go-tigers dept.
concealment sends this quote from an article at The Physics of Baseball "This clip from Game 4 shows Marco Scutaro hitting the ball right near the tip of the barrel. The amplitude of the resulting vibration is so large that the bat breaks and the ball weakly dribbles off the bat. Note that the bat splinters toward the pitcher. The reason is that when the ball hits the barrel tip, the barrel of the bat bends backward toward the catcher and the center of the bat bulges forward toward the pitcher. That is the natural shape of the fundamental vibrational mode of the bat. Since the fracture occurs near the center which is bulging outward, that is how the bat splinters, as the wood fibers on the pitcher side of the bat are stretched to the breaking point. If the ball had impacted the bat near the center, the center would have bulged toward the catcher, as in the Yadier Molina clip. Had the vibrational amplitude been strong enough in the Molina case, the bat would have splintered toward the catcher."
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5000 fps Camera Reveals the Physics of Baseball

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22, 2012 @09:29AM (#41727881)

    I could not see the images (seems slashdotted), but recently I saw this very interesting slow motion video of light itself:
    here [ted.com]

  • Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by Controlio (78666) on Monday October 22, 2012 @10:32AM (#41728461)

    They may use a camera that can run up to 5,000fps, but that's not the frame rate that was being shot.

    There is no reasonable way to shoot high frame rates at night in the lighting conditions that exist in ballparks. Remember that stadium lights only actually project light 60 times per second, and not all of them fire at the exact same time (different power phases, feeds from different transformers and substations, etc). So while in sunlight you can shoot at 5,000fps (though no one does because it's impractical with the limited amount of time you have between pitches to show a replay), in large-scale HID (et al) lighting environments you can't shoot much more than 600-1000fps and still achieve a reasonable image quality. (Note that a referenced article in TFA says they shot at 3,000fps, but I still have major doubts that the captured clips or even the original clip which aired on television was actually shot at 3k FPS.)

    And it's not just the frequency of the light, it's the amount. Zoom lenses lower the light that hits camera CCDs SIGNIFICANTLY. We experiment with high-speed cameras at long distances (center field pitch follow) quite regularly, and the result is incredibly underwhelming in anything other than direct sunlight. Though I will say, watching the movement and flight pattern of the pitch at high framerate in daylight is pretty spectacular.

    Here (pdf) [grassvalley.com] is an interesting whitepaper written by Grass Valley about the development of their super slow motion cameras, and the difficulties involved (flicker control, data rate, SNR, etc). The interesting reading begins on page 2. Note that this is NOT the camera used in the clips, the camera referenced is only doing 180fps - but you can extrapolate the complications presented in shooting 3000fps in HID lighting. (Side note: The referenced camera is the industry standard for smooth slow motion replay at 180fps. Ever notice that really smooth low-endzone NFL replay angle, or that definitive mid-1st MLB replay angle of the throw to first beating the runner? That's this camera.)

    And in case you were wondering, the actual camera they used is here [visionresearch.com], though it was modified by a third party company to run at a higher frame rate.

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