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# Lucky Strike Trivia Quiz

### When I go tenpin bowling, I rarely get strikes. When I do, I say it was a lucky strike. But there is actually quite a lot of science behind bowling. Do you know the science?

A multiple-choice quiz by salami_swami. Estimated time: 5 mins.

Author
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
360,500
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
658
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 97 (6/10), jeremygilbert (2/10), PurpleComet (7/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Friction seems to play a role in just about everything, and it certainly plays a part in bowling a strike. Which of these, for most bowlers, creates the most kinetic friction with the bowling ball? Hint

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Question 2 of 10
2. Bowling pins are shaped in a certain way so they are more stable and less likely to fall over if gently hit. This is because of their center of gravity, which is located where in the pin? Hint

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Question 3 of 10
3. The momentum of the bowling ball also plays an important role in getting all ten pins to fall over and gain a strike. In the common equation p=mv, which of the symbols represents momentum? Hint

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Question 4 of 10
4. There is science behind everything in bowling, including the spin of the ball down the lane. Bowlers use special balls with spin, or create the spin themselves, to hit the pins at an angle. What do bowlers call this spin? Hint

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Question 5 of 10
5. The pins' center of gravity is important, but so is the bowling ball's. Because a bowling ball is completely spherical, the center of gravity is in the exact center of the bowling ball.

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Question 6 of 10
6. Both potential and kinetic energy can be at play while bowling a strike. While the bowling ball is rolling down the lane, it is exhibiting kinetic energy. Is this correct?

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Question 7 of 10
7. Keeping in mind all aspects of physics, as your bowling ball travels down the lane, using the laws of acceleration, what is the ball doing? Hint

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Question 8 of 10
8. As it turns out, the weight of the ball plays a role in bowling. Of course, the lighter the ball, the easier a spin can be applied and the more control one has. However, a heavier ball also has more power, so it will more easily knock the pins down (having a greater force, if you can manage to throw it hard enough).

Of course, if we were to hop in a rocket and take our bowling balls and pins to the moon, most everything about the bowling ball would remain the same, except for which of these properties?
Hint

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Question 9 of 10
9. Angular velocity also plays an important role in the physics of bowling. Which of these describes what is measured with angular velocity? Hint

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Question 10 of 10
10. The time has finally come. The ball is going down the lane, and it hits the pins perfectly. You have achieved the lucky strike. Congratulations!

When the ball first hits the pins, this is known as a collision. With the laws of friction ignored, however, what kind of collision is it?

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Feb 26 2024 : Guest 97: 6/10
Feb 16 2024 : jeremygilbert: 2/10
Feb 03 2024 : PurpleComet: 7/10

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Friction seems to play a role in just about everything, and it certainly plays a part in bowling a strike. Which of these, for most bowlers, creates the most kinetic friction with the bowling ball?

True, your hand and the pins both have a bit of friction with the bowling ball, however, the lane and the bowling ball have the most friction between them. Kinetic friction is the rubbing of two items together which slows the objects down. In this case, the bowling ball is moving forward, though the lane is rubbing against the bowling ball, slowing it down.

Of course, each lane is different in terms of the amount of friction it has on the bowling ball. A well polished and oiled lane has much less friction on the bowling ball than a lane that is perhaps very old and worn, with no polish and very dry. In such a lane the friction will be greater.
2. Bowling pins are shaped in a certain way so they are more stable and less likely to fall over if gently hit. This is because of their center of gravity, which is located where in the pin?

The center of gravity of a standard tenpin is very low, which makes it harder to knock over when hit (this is also why they wobble without falling over). If the center of gravity was near the top, they would fall over much more easily. Imagine a water bottle with a little bit of ice stuck at the very bottom. It is fairly sturdy and doesn't knock over easily. Flip it over, and now all the weight is at the top of the bottle, and you can knock it down easily, perhaps even with a small blow.

The same thing applies to the bowling pins. With the majority of the weight near the ground, the center of gravity is low, making it difficult to knock over.
3. The momentum of the bowling ball also plays an important role in getting all ten pins to fall over and gain a strike. In the common equation p=mv, which of the symbols represents momentum?

The scientific equation p=mv is one used to find the momentum of something. The letter p is used to represent momentum, and to find the momentum (p), you must multiply the mass of the object by the velocity (m*v). Generally, the heavier and faster something is moving, the more momentum it has (and the more difficult it is to stop).

A bowling ball, then, weighing 16 pounds and rolling down the lane at 25 miles an hour, would have considerably less momentum than a 16 ton truck heading down the highway at 65 miles an hour. That also, of course, makes the bowling ball a lot easier to stop dead in its tracks than the truck.
4. There is science behind everything in bowling, including the spin of the ball down the lane. Bowlers use special balls with spin, or create the spin themselves, to hit the pins at an angle. What do bowlers call this spin?

The hook is rather important for many bowlers, and at times, it does not take effect until very near the end of the lane, close to the pins. The reason for this is friction. The lane, as mentioned earlier in question one, is coated in oil. The bowling ball does not have much friction with a well-oiled lane, so a lane typically leaves the very last portion of the lane unoiled.

The purpose of not oiling this part of the lane is for the bowling ball to finally grip the surface near the end. Once it has a better contact and friction is now playing a larger role, the bowling ball will finally begin to pull in whichever direction it wants to go.

A straight bowling ball, then, will continue going straight. One with a hook, then, will finally begin to curve.
5. The pins' center of gravity is important, but so is the bowling ball's. Because a bowling ball is completely spherical, the center of gravity is in the exact center of the bowling ball.

It stands to reason that something completely round would have the center of gravity in the center, but that is not always the case. A bowling ball is not a uniform solid, as the inside is filled with different materials to be tailored to a bowler's own techniques.

Inside the ball, sometimes the weight is mostly distributed on one side of the ball, and the center of gravity is actually closer to the outside of the ball than the inside. The point closest to the center of gravity is usually marked on the outside of the ball in some way, usually using the logo of the company (that's right, the logo is not just to identify the maker of the ball). Sometimes the ball is made in a way that forces a spin to occur, weighted to one side of the finger holes, and the center of gravity, then, would be on the side rather than in the middle.
6. Both potential and kinetic energy can be at play while bowling a strike. While the bowling ball is rolling down the lane, it is exhibiting kinetic energy. Is this correct?

Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. Potential energy can be likened to an arrow; when the bow is pulled back, the arrow has potential energy. Once the arrow is loosed, there is still potential energy due to gravity, but it begins to lessen as kinetic energy begins to take a part. As the arrow flies, both kinetic and potential energy are at play.
7. Keeping in mind all aspects of physics, as your bowling ball travels down the lane, using the laws of acceleration, what is the ball doing?

As the ball travels down the lane, it begins to slow down, as friction, air resistance, and the like begin to act upon the ball. The ball, therefore, is decelerating, and once it hits the pins, it will be moving slower than when it was first released (although the change may be very miniscule).
8. As it turns out, the weight of the ball plays a role in bowling. Of course, the lighter the ball, the easier a spin can be applied and the more control one has. However, a heavier ball also has more power, so it will more easily knock the pins down (having a greater force, if you can manage to throw it hard enough). Of course, if we were to hop in a rocket and take our bowling balls and pins to the moon, most everything about the bowling ball would remain the same, except for which of these properties?

The reason the weight of the ball would change on the moon is simply due to gravity. On earth, the gravity is 9.8m/s^2 (meters per second squared), though on the moon it is only 1.6m/s^2. The more gravitational pull there is on a planet, the heavier an item becomes.

Therefore, an item with the same mass and shape may weigh 16 pounds on Earth whereas the same object would weigh only, approximately, 2 1/2 pounds.
9. Angular velocity also plays an important role in the physics of bowling. Which of these describes what is measured with angular velocity?

Answer: How fast the ball spins

As expertly described by doublemm for me (science articles went far above my head), "angular velocity is just a fancy way of describing how fast the ball spins". This is measured by radians per second, and the symbol for angular velocity is the Greek letter omega.

It can be likened to the tires on a car. Generally, we know the term "RPM", for "rotations per minute", which is measuring the angular velocity of the tires.
10. The time has finally come. The ball is going down the lane, and it hits the pins perfectly. You have achieved the lucky strike. Congratulations! When the ball first hits the pins, this is known as a collision. With the laws of friction ignored, however, what kind of collision is it?

As soon as the ball comes in contact with the pin, the collision that has occurred is an elastic collision. The energy has not dissipated in any way, and you can see the pins bounce from the ball and jump about wildly. This is an elastic collision.

I quite liked what I was told by CellarDoor, who helped me with this question. She said that if one of the pins was made of clay and stuck to the bowling ball at first, that would be considered an inelastic collision -- some energy is lost. The pins are hard, though, and move away from the ball immediately, and it is therefore an elastic collision.
Source: Author salami_swami

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor CellarDoor before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
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