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  • The Science of Roberto Carlos’ Impossible Free Kick

    If you are a football fan, you’re probably aware of Roberto Carlos’ impossible 1997 agains France. He seemed to do something that defied the laws of physics, make the ball turn in the air around a group of players, and into the goal.

    If you are not familiar with it, you can watch it here.

    So how is this “impossible” kick possible? The animated TED video below explains the science that made it work in a very interesting way. Watch it and see if you can answer the questions.

    Answer the questions below in comments and we will respond.

    1. Just before going out of bounds, it ____ to __ ___ and ____ into the goal.

    2. What did the ball need to make it go into the goal, according to Newton’s first law of motion?

    3. What made the ball curve? What is the name of the effect?

    4. What makes the kick so hard to do?

    5. How did Newton notice the Magnus effect?

    6. What would you have to do to make the ball spiral?

    7. Do you have a favorite moment in football history? Describe it.