APR 01, 2017 02:27 PM PDT

Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

What's small, white, and covered with no less than 300 dimples? A golf ball, of course! But how do dimples, which increase the surface area of the object, actually help the golf ball travel further?

The answer is all about aerodynamics. A ball that's smooth is actually subject to higher drag resistance. These are the forces that pull or suck the ball backwards, which causes the ball to go less far. By contrast, dimples on the balls disturb the airflow around the ball, leading to a smaller wake, and thus less drag. Dimples also help lift the ball by forcing the air downward. This is why dimpled balls can travel almost twice as far as a smooth ball. Watch the video to learn more!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 01, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 01, 2018
Oil Absorbing Sponge Made from Wood
  It has been eight years since the crude oil spill in the Mexico Gulf, but the shadow of aquatic petroleum contamination has never been far away. To...
NOV 03, 2018
Videos
NOV 03, 2018
Why Does Your Tooth Hurt Biting into Candies?
After Halloween, eating so much candy and not following good hygiene protocols may cause cavities. However, what makes chomping onto a chocolate bar (or ot...
NOV 20, 2018
Videos
NOV 20, 2018
Legal marijuana sales begin today in MA
Massachusetts opened its first dispensaries for legal recreational marijuana sales today. The companies, one called Cultivate Holdings in Leicester and ano...
NOV 26, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 26, 2018
A New Test for Fibromyalgia
Anyone who has experienced severe, chronic pain knows the long process it takes to get a correct diagnosis. Many people see an average of 5-6 specialists b...
NOV 25, 2018
Videos
NOV 25, 2018
What If Earth Spun the Other Way?
If once upon a time the Earth spun the other way—the seasons wouldn’t change because of the Earths tilt. But, what would change is the climate ...
NOV 26, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 26, 2018
Here's What An ISS Resupply Launch Looks Like From Space
Filmed rocket launches have become the norm here on Earth, but most cameras are situated at ground level, either shooting the takeoff from the launchpad or...
Loading Comments...