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I Whacking a golfball down a marble corridor

  1. Jan 30, 2017 #1
    Title says it all really, myself and others on another forum have oft pondered how far a golf ball would travel before coming to a rest if you were to whack it straight down an infinite marble corridor, assuming there are no height restrictions and taking into account the swing from a top golfer.

    Unfortunately, we all lack the brains to figure it out and out of sheer desperation I thought I would post the question to a group of people who could possibly if sheer boredom strikes them, work it out, so if you have a moment to spare you’ll be doing this complete and utter stranger a service and if not, you guys & gals have a good day :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2017 #2
    As a first gestimation I would say perhaps 5km before coming to rest ....

    To know more accurately you would need to do an experiment to determine the characteristics of the ball on marble impact ...drop it from a measured height and see what the rebound is ...suppose from 1 meter it bounced to 0.9 m .. this would tell you that every bounce would only loose 10% ... so then factor in the horizontal velocity component , and you've come a long way to the answer ...

    Other factors will be air resistance ... , and any spin ...spin will cause added, or reduced lift and also effect the bounce.

    On second thoughts it maybe closer to 10km before coming to rest ... the marble floor is not straight but follows the curve of the Earth
  4. Jan 30, 2017 #3
    Cheers for the input chap, the more we’ve thought about it the more complex it gets but I have to admit we did not take into account the curvature of the earth over such a distance we assumed gravity and air resistance would’ve stopped it long before curvature would have an impact, as for spin… if we assume that you are going for maximum distance then you’d want forward spin but again how in the holy hell would you take all these factors into consideration to come up with as close to goodness answer as humanely possible.. probably need a programme to sort through it tbf
  5. Jan 30, 2017 #4
    The whole thing will also be complicated by that there are two distinct phases: first when it travels through the air and is thus solely slowed by the air, and then when it rolls on the floor, where it will likely be dominated by the rolling resistance and maybe even loss through internal deformation.
    Oh, and of course each bounce enters as yet another variable during which energy is lost.

    My suggestion would be to actually experimentally do this :)
    You wouldn't need an endlessly long corridor; you could piecemeal the parts together. Recreate the bouncy part in an empty parking lot, measuring the distance and the speed when it transitions to the rolling stage. Then, find the longest marble floor you can find, and recreate the speed you recorded at the end of the bouncing part. Add the distances together, voila.
  6. Jan 30, 2017 #5
    Curvature of the Earth over 10 km is 7.85 meters , that means if the corridor is straight(line of sight ,laser level) the ball has to climb 7.85 meters in height which will reduce it's range considerably compared to a corridor which follows the Earth's curve ( found by still fluid in a trench ,bubble level) ..

    If you want to pursue this, the first step is to drop a ball and see how much it bounces back , if we have this figure I'm confident we can get a fairly accurate answer ...I can't imagine there's much difference between a bounce on glass , marble , polished porcelain tiles (fairly common flooring) , or very smooth concrete .The surface must be very firm and secure .. then drop a ball from a measured height (as high as possible), and measure how high it bounces , repeat and take the average ...

    Give me that figure and we can move forward.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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