In 1997, Brazilian football player Roberto Carlos set up for a 35 meter free kick with no direct line to the goal. Carlos’s shot sent the ball flying wide of the players, but just before going out of bounds it hooked to the left and soared into the net. How did he do it? Erez Garty describes the physics behind one of the most magnificent goals in the history of football.
Watch a video and choose the correct answers.
1. Which physics principal underlies the banana kick?
a) Newton’s first law of motion
b) Ballistic movement
c) The Magnus effect
d) The Maxwell effect
2. What causes the ball to curve?
a) Air pressure
3. Who described first the Magnus effect?
a) Roberto Carlos
b) Sir Isaac Newton
c) The ancient Greek
d) Heinrich Gustav Magnus
4. Can a soccer ball be boomeranged back to the player?
a) Yes, but it will take a very precise and strong kick
b) No, because the force needed for the kick is too high
c) Yes, but only in space
d) No, because the ball will swirl in smaller and smaller circles
5. In which of these sports can one not observe the Magnus effect?
6. Can a banana kick be performed on the moon?
Educator Erez Garty
Director Hector Herrera
Producer Pazit Cahlon
Sound Designer Nick Sewell