The mathematics of golf

(—The official Rules of Golf, which are continually being revised and updated as new equipment emerges, have close ties to mathematics. In many cases, math is used to place limitations on golf equipment, such as ...

Supraballs offer a new way to color materials

An international team of researchers has created a new way to color manufactured materials. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes how they created the new coloring technique and why ...

Morphable surfaces could cut air resistance

There is a story about how the modern golf ball, with its dimpled surface, came to be: In the mid-1800s, it is said, new golf balls were smooth, but became dimpled over time as impacts left permanent dents. Smooth new balls ...

Spitzer finds solid buckyballs in space

( -- Astronomers using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, discovered buckyballs in a solid form in space. Prior to this discovery, the microscopic carbon spheres had been found ...

Some UFOs may be explained as ball lighting

( -- An Australian scientist studying photographs of fireballs, UFO sightings and a report of a strange green light in the sky suggests some UFOs may be ball lightning caused by fireball meteors.

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A ball is a round, usually spherical but sometimes ovoid, object with various uses. It is used in ball games, where the play of the game follows the state of the ball as it is hit, kicked or thrown by players. Balls can also be used for simpler activities, such as catch, marbles and juggling. Balls made from hard-wearing materials are used in engineering applications to provide very low friction bearings, known as ball bearings. Black powder weapons use stone and metal balls as projectiles.

Although many types of balls are today made from rubber, this form was unknown outside the Americas until after the voyages of Columbus. The Spanish were the first Europeans to see bouncing rubber balls (albeit solid and not inflated) which were employed most notably in the Mesoamerican ballgame. Balls used in various sports in other parts of the world prior to Columbus were made from other materials such as animal bladders or skins, stuffed with various materials.

As balls are one of the most familiar spherical objects to humans, the word "ball" is used to refer to, or to describe, anything spherical or near-spherical.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA