Curious Kids Need An Answer: Do Golf Balls Float? We Can Explain! | Kidadl


Curious Kids Need An Answer: Do Golf Balls Float? We Can Explain!

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A golf ball is made up of rubber and covered with plastic.

The dimple pattern on the surface of a golf ball is designed for good flight performance. The more dimples a ball has, the better its flight.

Golf balls are used to play the popular game of golf, in which you hit the balls with a gold bat in a golf club. A golf course in a golf club has 18 holes, generally spread over a large area consisting of challenges like trees, lakes, bunkers, and sand traps. This game of hit is made difficult by changing distances between holes.

Now, if we consider whether the range of golf balls floats or sink in water, the answer is that it depends. The answer cannot be a direct yes or no because it depends on factors like the density of the golf ball and the density of water.

Examples of a few floating golf balls are Eliteshine floating golf balls, A 99 floating golf balls, and Snugen floating golf balls.

An advantage of floaters is that they save money as golfers won't lose their balls in lakes nearby. They also reduce waste as fewer golf balls will be lost underwater. In the golf game, floater golf balls go the same distance as the regular golf balls, and there is no difference.

Check out other articles like do helicopters have wheels and do bananas float in water here on Kidadl.

Why do things float?

All objects in the universe are made up of very tiny molecules. These molecules may be tightly packed or loosely packed. The compactness of these molecules is known as density. In objects with more density, the molecules are closer together, and in objects with less density, the molecules are farther apart.

Density is the reason why some objects float while some sink. If an object has a density greater than the density of water, then it will sink, and if it is less than the density of the water, it will not sink and stay on the water's surface. When you put a golf ball in freshwater, it sinks because the density of water is 133.53 oz/gal (1 g/ml) and the density of an average golf ball is 135.53 oz/gal (1.015 g/ml). The heavier golf ball sink to the bottom.

If you want to see the golf ball float, mix some salt into the freshwater. The salt will increase the density of the freshwater because now the saltwater has more compact molecules than just water. When you insert the same golf ball into saltwater, the ball floats. This happens because the saltwater density is 136.86 oz/gal (1.025 g/ml), and the golf ball is lighter. Heavier objects can float in saltwater as it's density is higher.

An easy experiment that can be shown to kids to explain this phenomenon is the colored water experiment. The materials required are green food coloring, water, salt, golf balls, freshwater, and jars. Fill the water jars with fresh water and put the golf ball inside the jar. Show the kids that the golf ball has sunk. Now take another jar and fill it with fresh water, but ask the child to mix salt into the water this time. After mixing some salt, put the golf ball inside this jar. You will find that this time the golf ball floats. If you can't make the golf ball float, add more salt. The amount of salt depends on the quantity of water and the density of the golf ball. This experiment can easily explain the concept of the compactness of molecules.

Now, add some green food coloring into the first jar. Add this colored freshwater into the second jar over the golf ball. You will witness a fantastic phenomenon where the golf ball floats above the saltwater but sinks in the colored water and doesn't come up. So, the golf ball is sinking and floating at the same time. Kids will be amazed by this experiment.

Lighter objects like plastic ping pong balls or hollow rubber balls will float in water because their density is lesser than the density of water.

If you wonder why boats float even when they are made of heavy iron and steel, we have answers. Hollow things float because air is less dense than water. Another reason is the shape. The more an object is touching the water, the more buoyant it is. The greater the surface area of an object has, the more water pushes against it and helps it float. When objects float, they push the water away; this is known as displacement.

Density Vs. Mass

The mass of an object is the amount of matter contained in it. While the density is the mass of an object spread out over its volume. Mass is expressed in lb, kg, or g. Density is expressed in lb/ft3 (kg/m³ or g/m³)

Mass cannot depict the state of matter of an object, while density can be used to describe the state of matter; solid, liquid, and gas. Mass is also the measure of inertia of an object. Density is the compactness of the molecules in an object. The mass of an object can be measured with a scale. To measure an object's density, we need to know the object's mass and the object's volume. Density is the degree of compactness of molecules inside objects. A stone has a larger density because its molecules are more tightly packed, while a leaf has a lesser density and will float because its molecules are less tightly packed. In water, the stone will sink, and the leaf will float.

Regular golf balls are heavier than the density of the water, and that is why they sink. Most golf balls are too dense, and hence they cannot float. They don't have buoyancy. Inside a golf ball is a heavy core. This core may have as many as four layers. According to R&A rules and USGA rules, golf balls can weigh up to 1.6 oz (45.9 g). According to standards, the diameter is 1.7 in (43.18 mm); hence, the mass is within a small space. The density of the golf ball then becomes heavier than the density of water. This is the reason a golf ball will sink.

But, there are floating golf balls that can float. These are known as floaters. The reason that they can float is because of the composition of their materials. These floating golf balls float because they are made of different polymers such as elastomers, polymerization initiators, monomers, and fillers. These golf balls are designed to be less dense and ultimately float. They can move towards the pond, lake, or sea surface.

Find out the mechanics behind the floating of a golf ball.

Define Mass With An Example

The term mass refers to the amount of matter in an object. Mass is not affected by gravity and remains constant everywhere. Mass is denoted by lb or oz (kg or g).

Mass is different than weight but commonly confused with it. Weight is affected by gravitational force, while mass is not. For example, if an object has a mass of 44.1 lb (20 kg) on Earth, the mass will remain the same on the moon. But if the weight is 44.1 lb (20 kg), it will reduce by one-sixth on the moon since the moon's gravitational pull is six times lighter.

Define Density With An Example

Density is defined as mass per unit volume. It is the mass of an object that is spread over the volume. In other words, it is the degree of compactness in the object. Density can determine whether an object is solid, liquid or gas.

The density of an object is determined by taking the mass of an object and dividing it by its volume. It is not affected by the size or the shape of the object.

Heavy-density objects are metals like iron, platinum, and lead.

Examples of lower density objects are glass, aluminum, bamboo, etc.

Examples of density and its properties can be seen in everyday phenomenon too. For example, a styrofoam cup is a lighter-density object, and a ceramic cup is not. The styrofoam cup will float when put in the water, while the ceramic cup will sink. In the case of oils spills, oil is found floating on the water's surface because it is lighter in density than water.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'Curious kids need an answer: do golf balls float, we can explain,' then why not take a look at 'Zinnia flower facts: helping your zinnia buds bloom beautifully' or '13 Zurich facts: why is ranked as one of the best places to live in?'

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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