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# Quantum Bowling

Like ordinary ten pin bowling, but watch out for Heisenberg!
 (+9, -1) [vote for, against]

OK, this idea is based upon an impossible assumption, but let's get that one out of the way first. The assumption is that you can create a device which will alter Planck's constant within a confined area (i.e. the bowling centre). By cranking it up, you can then get quantum effects to happen at real world energies and velocities. OK, so disbelief suitably suspended?
So now, you adjust it so that the wave length of the ball (which now succumbs to Heisenberg's uncertainty principal etc.) is roughly equivalent to the distance between the pins. Hey presto! two new games in one:
1. For beginners: "Heisenberg Handicap". Essentially the same as normal bowling, but if you try and bowl it too fast - bad luck, the ball behaves as a wave and misses all the pins! Brings those would be league bowlers back to your level.
2. For the pros: "Diffraction Action". Here the bowler must bowl fast enough to get the ball to behave like a wave between the pins. But in this game he must adjust his speed in order to create various interference patterns at the end of the lane. Scoring would be on the basis of matching the hardest interference patterns to get (the ones where you need the velocity of the ball high,and the wave length small).
Haven't worked out yet what effect spin would have, and if right or left-handed spin would alter the state of the ball, but you get the idea.
If anyone can remember the maths for working out the wave length for a given mass and velocity for a particle, then you could work out what you'd need to get the effect just right, but to be quite honest, I can't remember, and can't be bothered to look it up.
 — goff, Jun 19 2001

Mr Tomkins in Paperback http://www.amazon.c...202-4591327-0305411
[goff] - read this book! Quite a lot of fun - he plays around, as you have done, with "What would happen if physical constant X were some other value?" Good for teaching children quantum physics too... [hippo, Jun 19 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Bowling ball manufacturers will simply come up with a ball that has "Heisenberg Compensating Core Technology" with a "Multi-Wave" generating coverstock.
 — Reverend D, Jun 19 2001

Instead of magic technology, you could just use a very very small bowling alley.
 — egnor, Jun 19 2001

If you increased Planck's constant in the bowling alley, wouldn't atoms and everything else just get larger, thereby putting you back where you started? This was how they miniaturized the heroes in Fantastic Voyage II -- they somehow decreased Planck's constant.
 — PotatoStew, Jun 20 2001

Of course PotatoStew is right - if Planck's constant were large enough for quantum effects to influence the bowling ball, then it would also influence alot of other stuff as well. Could be a little tricky - like if you swing your arm too fast when bowling, it starts behaving like a wave....weird.
[hippo] re the link, I actually got this idea from an exam question I had in my first year physics course which was to discuss the effects if the universal gravitational constant changed over time. Which could be equally amusing.
 — goff, Jun 20 2001

[goff]: It would certainly confuse dieters.
 — angel, Jun 20 2001

One problem still remains, Can Stephen Hawkings bowl? Also the energy required to make such a bowling alley is tremendous. No to mention some pretty messy things would happen to the space-time continum once the bowlers got drunk.
 — JunkBugg, Jun 22 2001

And what happens when you get a strike? All those high-energy particles flying around...
 — phoenix, Dec 03 2001

At our company bowling outing yesterday [don't ask how I did] we were discussing superconducting bowling. Replace the bowling balls with atoms of liquid helium and shoot electrons down the alley. Guaranteed to never get a strike. Why you would want this is another question.
 — pottedstu, Dec 03 2001

Is my double bowlhead a help or an hindrance?
 — po, Dec 03 2001

haha, call yourself a gentleman?
 — po, Dec 03 2001

I've got a box with either a croissant or a fishie inside. Anyone want to look?
 — sirrobin, Dec 04 2001

Would keeping your eyes closed, thus never "observing" the outcome of your roll, draw a delay of game penalty? Would bowlers in adjacent lanes "interfere" with each other (more than normally, that is)? Would there be stable orbit states for the ball (your quantum bowling ball wouldn't roll down the lane, but rather make instantaneous jumps towards the pins)?
 — LeBain, Jan 16 2002

And don't forget quantum tunneling - it'd be entirely possible for your bowling ball to decide to pop over to another lane...
 — magnificat, Jan 16 2002

Anyone for a round of 11-dimensional superbowling?
 — waugsqueke, Jan 16 2002

 You need a level for the intermediate players.

 3) For the intermediates: "Tunnel-ball". Like regular bowling, except an impenetrable steel wall is placed in front of the pins.

...but don't things act more like waves at -lower- energy states? Visible light is more like a wave than x-rays...
 — beerhunter, Jan 17 2002

I've heard that one can observe effects of quantum uncertainty at macroscopic scales if the involved objects are very, very cold (ie, their temperatures are approaching absolute zero).
 — TerranFury, Dec 07 2003

 wavelength= plancks constant devided by momentum.

So we leave planck alone and just bowl very, very slowly...
 — RobertKidney, Dec 08 2003

what would happen if you crossed the line?
 — Xcubeds, Jun 22 2005

[TerranFury], you're right. By making atoms very very cold, you decrease their vibration (since that's what "hot" really is), and therefore make it easier to know the exact velocities of the atoms (can't be more than a certain low value). Since you know the velocities very precisely, their locations get really fuzzy, and you get something called a "Bose-Einstein Condensate" which acts sort of like a single giant atom, and can be as large as you like provided you can keep it cold enough and contained.
 — 5th Earth, Jun 22 2005

OK, so if you could actually reach absolute zero, the momentum would be nil and hence the wavelength infinite. Which suggests that, once you'd cooled the particle, it would probably not be in the cooling chamber any more...
 — david_scothern, Jun 23 2005

 I think you misunderstand the Bose-Einstein condensate, it has more to do with statistics than anything.

And I agree with goff, increasing the plank length could be messy. particles and bowling balls are vary different animals. I bet since the bowling ball can tunnel through stuff little bits of the ball which are smaller and so could tunnel even easier would end up tunneling through each other and the ball would fall apart.

<physics joke>
Q: What's nu?
A: h/lamda
</physics joke>
 — csea, Oct 19 2010

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