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Mathematics and Physics behind Golf Ball Dimples

by

Jue Wang
Union College

October 11, 2007
5:00 pm
Bailey Hall 201

Refreshments will be served at 4:45 in Bailey 204


Abstract:

A golf ball can be driven great distances. How is that possible? And why do golf balls have dimples? As we will see, the laminar and turbulent boundary layer separation plays an important role in the flight of a golf ball. We will start by looking at the history of golf balls, how they’re related to Platonic solids such as icosahedrons. Then we will derive Bernoulli's equation, look at d'Alembert's Paradox and explain how lift is formed by the spin imposed on the golf ball. We will also see a similar effect on the seams of cricket, tennis and baseballs.


For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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