Why do golf balls have dimples?

Why do golf balls have dimples?

Kellogg College invited the Centre's Dr Neil Ashton to give a seminar to college members and guests on 'Turbulence – Finding Order in Chaos' on Thursday 27 October, where he explained how the flipper of a humpback whale inspired the look of the latest Formula 1 car - and revealed why golf balls have dimples. The seminar was arranged and chaired by Kellogg Junior Research Fellow Dr David Johnson.

Dr Ashton recently joined the Centre as a Senior Researcher. He is an expert in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), with a particular focus on turbulence modelling. He has worked on a number of EU projects with leading companies such as Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen and DLR to develop new turbulence models suitable for complex industrial flows.

Centre staff Dr David Johnson and Dr Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran were appointed as Kellogg College Junior Research Fellows in June 2016. The seminar is the first of several that Dr David Johnson hopes to organise during his three year Junior Fellowship at the college. The college hosts regular seminars for academics and researchers active at all levels and in all fields, providing an opportunity for students and Fellows to discuss emerging research findings and exchange ideas.

In this talk Dr Ashton discussed how our understanding of turbulence is enabling us to understand some of the mysteries of nature.  By using some of the biggest supercomputers in the world, our knowledge of turbulence is bringing a new era of discovery for science and engineering. He explains, "Turbulence defines the shape of the cars we drive and the planes we fly on, yet it remains largely invisible. You can see it in the plume of a cigarette or your breath on a cold morning. Turbulence is all around of us, but for many the word turbulence is largely associated with a bumpy flight. This talk will introduce you to the chaotic side of nature that remains one of physics' greatest unsolved mysteries".

Read Q&As with Dr Ashton and Dr Johnson.