About this Article
Written by: Zhongjie Cai
Written on: December 11th, 2013
Tags: physics, sports & recreation
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About the Author
Zhongjie is a student majoring in Chemical Engineering at USC. He has been playing badminton for over 11 years with 7 years of training experience and 2 years being the President & Team Captain of the USC Badminton club. This is his first essay about badminton.
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Volume XVI Issue II > Fast & Furious: The Science behind Badminton Smashes
Badminton Smash is a shot that demonstrates the player’s ultimate power and control. There are certain things that can help nonprofessionals smash like professionals. These things will be discussed in detail in this essay.
The Engineering behind Badminton. (Flash)


Badminton is a racket sport like tennis, except that a bird (also called shuttlecock, shuttle, or birdie) is used rather than a ball. Because of the extreme power and speed, a smash is probably the most exciting moment in a game.
A smash is a shot hit with power and speed downward to the opponent’s court, similar to a tennis serve [2]. But how much power can a smash generate? A group of people in Beijing did an interesting experiment: A watermelon was put on the table without a holder (so the watermelon could freely move when hit) and a badminton player hit a bird as hard as possible at the watermelon from about 10 feet away. The watermelon was cracked [1].