Why is a Golf Ball dimpled?
Ever wondered how golfers can hit a ball so far and curve it’s direction?
They wouldn’t refer to it, but it is all thanks to what is called the Magnus Effect, which effects all rotating balls or cylinders when they fly.
As a ball picks up speed, air on the front side of the ball is going in the same direction as it's spin. Therefore, it gets dragged along with the ball and deflected back. Air on the other side is moving opposite to the ball spin, so the flow separates from the ball instead of getting deflected.
The net result is the ball pushes air one way, so the air applies an equal force on the ball the other way. This is known as the Magnus Effect, named after Heinrich Gustav Magnus who described it in 1852.
This effect has even been proven to work on airplanes instead of wings and ships instead sails to generate forward momentum.
The dimples on a golf ball help it fly further by creating a thin layer of air around the ball reducing its wake as it moves through the air, creating less drag and thereby helping the ball to travel further.