The Magnus force on a rotating body traveling through a fluid is partly responsible for ballistic missile and rifle shell inaccuracies and dispersion and for the strange deviational behavior of such spherical missiles as golfballs and baseballs. A great deal of effort has been expended in attempts to predict the lift and drag forces as functions of the primary parameters, Reynolds number, ratio of peripheral to free-stream velocity, and geometry. The formulation and solution of the mathematical problem is of sufficient difficulty that experimental results give the only reliable information on the phenomenon. This paper summarizes some of the experimental results to date and the mathematical attacks that have been made on the problem.

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