Faculty Advisor

Richman, Mark W.


The purpose of this project is to develop a model of a bat-ball collision to predict the outgoing velocity of the ball and how it varies as the point of impact along the bat changes. The method we propose is to subtract the kinematic losses due to vibration from the existing rigid body model for bat ball collisions. Our model accounts for the mechanism by which kinetic energy is imparted to the ball and the mechanism by which vibrational energy is imparted to the bat because naturally it deforms after impact. We were able to determine that a “sweet spot” of a bat is the location where outgoing ball velocity is at a maximum due to minimal kinetic losses due to vibration. This sweet spot is different than predicted by the rigid body model,it is not located at any of the nodes of vibration.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2012


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering