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Tales from the Prep Room: Magnus Cups

Produced by the Royal Institution, this video demonstrates the effects of air movement over a spinning surface and how it can be used to generate lift. The demonstration is simple and uses just two polystyrene cups joined to produce a 'Magnus Cup.'

When launched, the Magnus Cup spins backwards and this generates lift to support some of the weight of the cups as they fly downwards. A similar effect is seen as the path of a tennis ball or football curves through the air, when a player applies a spin to the ball.

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