Science
Tennis

# Does string tension affect the speed of a tennis ball?

159160161 ###### 2011-01-11 19:16:24

In a nutshell, lower string tension increases power because the ball ends up staying on the strings longer. However, this decreases your control.

Higher string tensions will decreases power because it makes the sweet spot smaller and the ball doesn't stay on the strings as long. This will increase your control.

Thus, there is a trade-off that many people seek to find and have a good balance of power as well as control.

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## Related Questions Yes. The ball will be forced back into your racket at a certain speed and will be somewhat shot out as if it was a slingshot. The speed of the standing waves in a string will increase by about 1.414 (the square root of 2 to be more precise) if the tension on the string is doubled. The speed of propagation of the wave in the string is equal to the square root of the tension of the string divided by the linear mass of the string. That's the tension of the string divided by the linear mass of the string, and then the square root of that. If tension doubles, then the tension of the string divided by the linear mass of the string will double. The speed of the waves in the newly tensioned string will be the square root of twice what the tension divided by the linear mass was before. This will mean that the square root of two will be the amount the speed of the wave through the string increases compared to what it was. The square root of two is about 1.414 or so. The velocity, v, of a wave in a taut string is dependant on the tension in the string, T, and the mass distribution (or mass per length ratio), μ.v2 = T/μ In a nutshell, lower string tension increases power because the ball ends up staying on the strings longer. However, this decreases your control. Higher string tensions will decreases power because it makes the sweet spot smaller and the ball doesn't stay on the strings as long. This will increase your control. Thus, there is a trade-off that many people seek to find and have a good balance of power as well as control. When waves travel across strings, the larger the tension of the string the faster the velocity of the wave. This is because of the equation:v = the square root of (T/(m/L)) where T is the tension, m the mass of the string, and L the length of the stringHope this helps!No, this actually doesnt help as much as it could. When mr 1 asked this question he probaly was looking for the meaning behind why tension affects wave speed - not for the dreaded equation that makes everything what it is. If you could reanswer this with that, Mr 1 and myself would be very happy.Please ignore the ABOVE.The reason for the increase in wave speed is because the effective stiffness of the string has increased with increasing tension. Think of tension and stiffness being equal in some regard. You can make a compliant thing stiffer by applying tension to it. The pitch is determined by by the frequency in which the string is swinging, which, in turn, is determined by the speed with which a wave can travel through the string. The higher the tension in the string is, the easier it is for a wave to travel through it, and if the speed of the wave increase, so will the frequency, and by default the pitch of the note. And vice versa. If I remember my physics correctly :) The linear speed will be: v = 2 * pi * r * f, where r is circle radius, f is rotations per second. To calculate tension, we can use formula for centripetal force, which is: F = mv2 / r. This centripetal force will be the tension in the string. On an ideally elastic and homogeneus string, the square of the speed is the tension upon wich the string is subjected, divided by its linear mass density (mass per unit lenght). That is v^2 = T / (M/L), where v is the wave speed, T the tension, M the string's mass and L its length, so M/L comes to be the linear mass density (for an homogeneous string). Obeying the laws of physics, the speed of a tennis ball will increase with hard surfaces, such as cement, and decrease with soft surfaces, such as clay. I believe that the speed will remain constant, and the new wavelength will be half of the original wavelength. Speed = (frequency) x (wavelength). This depends on the method used to increase the frequency. If the tension on the string is increased while maintaining the same length (like tuning up a guitar string), then the speed will increase, rather than the wavelength. Although the vast majority of ball movement (i.e., direction, trajectory, speed, and spin) is under the control of the person wielding the tennis racquet, the string can have a slightaffect on the ball, depending on its thickness (gauge) and how tightly it is strung onto the racquet, even though the ball is on the strings only 1/100th of a second. For more information, refer to the "Introduction to Racquet Science" link, below. Pretty much none. Propagation speed is a function of the medium it's traveling in, and tension has, at best, a second-order effect on that. Convert the speed to meters per second. Use the formula acceleration = speed squared / radius to find the centripetal acceleration. Then use the formula force = mass x acceleration to find the corresponding force. The fingertips serve to shorten the amount of string that vibrates, which increases the speed of the string's vibration. This increased frequency (pitch) results due to increased tension which tightens the vibrating segment of the string. Speed, Endurance and Strength are important for tennis. Avibration in a string is a wave. Usually a vibrating string produces a sound whose frequency in most cases is constant. Therefore, since frequency characterizes the pitch, the sound produced is a constant note. Vibrating strings are the basis of any string instrument like guitar, cello, or piano. The speed of propagation of a wave in a string is proportional to the square root of the tension of the string and inversely proportional to the square root of the linear mass of the string.  What is being measured is the speed in which the tennis ball is moving. A radar gun, similar to the ones police use for giving out speeding tickets, is used to measure a tennis serve The wheel size does affect its speed. No, the ball can be served at any speed the server chooses.    Temperature has not affect on the speed of sound. Linear density for stringμ=1.5 g/m=1.5*10-3 kg/mTension on stringT=20 NWave speed on stringv=√(T/μ)=√(20/1.5*10-3)=115 m/sWave lengthf=v/λλ=v/f=115/220=0.52 mFundamental resonance frequencyL=λ/2=0.26 mLength of string is 0.26 m

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