Do bowling balls float

Posted by Tenpin at 2.00pm on 29 January 2014

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Do bowling balls float?

Yes, they most certainly do. And here's how...

Each bowling ball is universally designed to be the same size and shape. The difference lies in the weight, as you will know if you've ever picked up more than one bowling ball.  Typical weights for bowling balls range from 2.7 to 7.3kg.  Choosing the right one to bowl with is an important decision and is unique to each individual (see our blog on getting started with Tenpin Bowling).

The difference in weight affects the density of each ball and this is where the answer to our question lies.  As each ball weighs a different amount despite being the same size, the density of the balls is affected.  The heavier the bowling ball, the denser it is. This means that more material is packed into a 7.3kg ball than in a 2.7kg ball.

So what happens when you put the balls in water?

Say you have a tank of water and you placed three different balls into the tank.  The first weighs 2.7kg with a density of around 500kg/m3, the second weighs 5.4kg with a density of around 999kg/m3 and the third weighs 7.3kg with a density of around 1340kg/m3.

Only those balls with a density equal to or less than water will float. Water generally has a density of around 1000kg/m3. So the first and second bowling balls should bob around happily. Magic!

The third however, as it's heavier and has a higher density, will fall to the bottom displacing the water around it.

Clever stuff hu?  If you want to find out more, just take a look at this short youtube video 

 

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