Yes, Even You Can Bend It Like Beckham

Edray Goins (November 5, 2010)

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In the 2002 film by Gurinder Chadha, character Jesminder 'Jess' Bhamra states "No one can cross a ball or bend it like Beckham" in a reference to the international soccer star's ability to cause the ball to swerve. French researchers Guillaume Dupeux, Anne Le Goff, David Quere and Christophe Clanet published a paper earlier this year in the New Journal of Physics detailing both experimental and mathematical analyses of a spinning ball in a fluid to show that it must follow a spiral. In this talk, we give an overview of their discussion by reviewing the Navier-Stokes equation in a Serret-Frenet coordinate system. This talk is dedicated to the memory of Angela Grant and her love of mathematics in sports.