- 1672 Correctly inferred by observing tennis players Isaac Newton
- 1742 Benjaimin Robins explains the deviations in the trajectory of musket balls by the effect.
- 1852 the effect was described by Gustav Magnus from why canon balls curve
As shown in this illustration when the tennis ball is hit using topspin, there is high pressure created in front of the ball as it spins forward with a low pressure created below the ball. Therefore the ball is being pushed down towards the ground along with gravity. On the other hand with backspin or slice, the high and low pressure are in reverse which create more lift. The more backspin rotation is created, the more lift.
Here is another simple illustration of the Magnus effect after the ball crosses the net with topsin.
A great video explaining the Magnus effect by Professor Rod Cross (University of Sydney, Australia).