Science Fair Projects

Do Dimples Make the Difference?


The objective: This project applies the dimples on a golf ball to a car for better mileage. This idea comes from two different types of wind flows, laminar for a smooth surface, and turbulent for a rough/ dimpled surface. For a spherical golf ball, the turbulent flow helps it conserve energy, making it fly farther. My question is can this effect apply to a car, or in this case a non-spherical shape..


To test this I first used an irregular shape (water bottle) to test if the dimpled surface would conserve more energy than a smooth one on a non-spherical shape. The bottles were hung and tested on a pendulum structure to ensure air resistance was the major variable.


I found that the dimples did in fact have an impact on the bottle#s energy lost. When doing the multiple swing tests the dimpled bottle lost less height than the smooth, and when doing the one-swing tests to convert energy lost, the bottle had a lower energy lost percentage.


I have concluded that turbulent flow transfers to irregular objects for more efficiency, and therefore would apply to a car.

Science Fair Project done By Teresa H. Netro



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