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Why a Golf Ball Compresses Like a Spring — Until It Shatters
I was watching this awesome video about hitting golf balls until they fail. It's a team-up video with YouTubers Destin Sandlin (Smarter Every Day) and Mark Rober. In the video, Destin and Mark want to figure out how hard you can hit a golf ball. you could hit, or even how hard the best golfer in the universe could hit it. They wanted to find the hit that was so hard that it destroyed the ball. SPOILER ALERT — They destroyed the golf ball.
But here is the cool part. If you hit a ball like a normal human, the ball gets compressed upon contact with the golf club. During this compression, the ball essentially acts like a jump. Yes, it gets compressed for a very short time ̵
1; but then it returns to its original position. This is called elastic compression. All of the springs in introductory physics are (probably) in this category of elastic compression (or stretching). In fact, this is what Hooke's Law is all about. It's a model for the force exerted by a spring that says the spring force is proportional to the amount of spring is compressed or stretched. As an equation, it looks like this: