Thursday 9 April 2009

Meeting consumer need for the perfect golf ball (video Animation)

Despite the fact that you can probably hit the ball for miles, and with a four-day weekend ahead, you might be interested in the fact that U.S. scientists have teamed up with a Japanese manufacturer in a quest to identify and produce the perfect golf ball.

In the Video Animation Model, computer-generated air surrounding the ball is colored blue to show the way a golf ball in flight interacts with air surrounding it. The animation is the result of enormous computer-power equal to that of 1,000 personal computers all hooked up together for 300 hours. It's also the central plank of a scientific experiment with potentially enormous commercial value.

Dr Elias Balarus, of the University of Maryland, is a lead physicist in the project funded by Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Corporation, which owns the Srixon golf ball brand, to create a ball that will travel further than any on the market. The key to success is in the dimples, which reduce drag on the ball as it flies toward its target.

Golf rules are strict about size and weight of a ball, but not when it comes to dimple patterns.
Manufacturers have relied on trial and error to produce dimple patterns and then identify the best prototype of a selection and mass produce it even though they don't know why it travels further than others. However, the new research uses mathematics to establish why a golf ball travels further.
Given variable factors of ball speed and rotation, dimple size and depth, calculations needed to arrive at a conclusive dimple pattern number in the hundreds of millions and it could take years before the optimal pattern becomes reality. Another complication is the U.S. Golf Association's rule limiting the distance a legal golf ball can travel in the air to 320 yards.

We await with interest the release of the resulting mathematical model as a possible value-adding enhancement for NamCalc !

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