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Question:
How do you know that humidity affects the basketball?



Replies:
It is not clear what your question is about. Try to give more context next time! Humidity is a measure of the amount of water in air. The two main variables in air are the temperature and the humidity since everything else is pretty much the same all over the world. The only other major possible difference is air pressure, which is lower at higher altitudes (like in Denver as opposed to L.A.) In a basketball stadium, the temperature is usually pretty well controlled (since it is indoors) and the main variable remaining is humidity. Why might it have an effect on a basketball game? It is just that humid air is different from dry air, especially when it is also hot (the same humidity corresponds to more water in the air the higher the temperature is). So the air resistance is slightly different, and so if you are sending a basketball a long distance through the air you might have to take that into account. The extra water also may have some effect on the way a basketball bounces because it does have to travel through the air on the way down and up. The best way to figure this sort of thing out is to actually get some experimental evidence - try exactly the same things in dry air and humid air and see if it really makes any difference (make sure the temperature and air pressure are controlled for first though).

Arthur Smith



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