Friday, March 19, 2010

The next big news story: "Golf ball car fails post-race inspection"

So I was watching MythBusters reruns last night, and doods, they had the most awesomest thing ever on there! It was...drum roll please...a golf ball car! You know how golf balls have little dimples on them? Well, apparently I'm a clueless idiot (yay for redundancy) because I thought that they were just, I dunno, pretty, pretty decorations or something, like maybe it was a promotional thing - "Space Age Golf Balls, everybody! Craggy like the surface of the moon!" I mean, they have pink golf balls, right? Other than making it easier to remember which ball is yours, that really brings nothing to your game. The dimples, however, do! Here's the science-nerd explanation from Wikipedia:
Firstly, the dimples on the surface of a golf ball cause the boundary layer on the upstream side of the ball to transition from laminar to turbulent. The turbulent boundary layer is able to remain attached to the surface of the ball much longer than a laminar boundary and so creates a narrower, low pressure, wake and hence less pressure drag. The reduction in pressure drag causes the ball to travel further.
So, in a nutshell, the dimples create less drag! This is where MythBusters comes in. They thought maybe if they put similar dimples on the surface of a car, the car would create less drag and get better gas mileage. They were skeptical about it, but it turns out the theory was right. The car, when covered with modeler's clay but not yet dimpled, got 26 mpg. The car, with dimples (and weighing the same as before...they put the scooped-out clay in a box in the back seat), got 29 mph. Nice!

Pic of the golf ball car (too lazy to upload it)

Now, 3 miles a gallon more in a NASCAR race will do you quite a lot of good, right? Oh, Chad, yoohoo! I think I have an idea here that's calling your name! Of course, if a car went through pre-race inspection looking like that, the officials would laugh if the team's face, but come on, this is Chad "Skinny Windows" Knaus we're talking about here! There's GOTTA be a way to make the car appear flat during inspection, but then suck in to make dimples in certain spots during the race, right? I mean, obviously you'd have to use some sort of material other than metal, since duh, it's not that bendy, and even if you could make it dent in a little, it would bulge back out when you tried to straighten it out. I mean, obviously this needs a lot more thought and ironing out of "minor" details, but man, I'd love to see Chad or any similarly devious-minded crew chief take a swing at this (if, you know, it didn't result in major penalties and/or suspension, which it probably would).

(P.S. Ya know, I couldn't come up with anybody who could play Jimmie or Chad in a movie...Jimmie I probably just didn't try hard enough, but Chad? Nobody looks like Chad! Chad is just...Chad, man. I know, I know, I'm the one who came up with the dumb idea, so I should at least have the courtesy to answer my own dang question, but...too bad!)

1 comment:

  1. Golf balls on the market. A number of elements in the manufacture and design of golf balls must be taken into account when buying. However, the final choice, the type of ball they play with the best, is a matter of personal preference. The distinction between different balls is mainly to cover the compression or the ball. Balata blankets, lithium Surlyn and are very popular are those that allow the wound balls to play for those looking for both distance and speed of rotation.