Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Helium Ball

Fill a regular football up with helium
  (+2, -3)
(+2, -3)
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What would happen if a football was blown up with helium instead of air?? Obviously it wouldnt counterbalance the weight but surely it would make things more interesting??
gomez2k, May 24 2003

FIFA soccer ball specifications http://www.fifa.com/en/laws/Laws2_01.htm
[spidermother, Feb 27 2006]

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia...er_balls_and_helium
Someone asked the same thing. [dbmag9, Jun 23 2006]


       I'm afraid that it wouldn't do much at all.   

       Seeing as a lighter ball has been probably the greatest improvement in modern football (soccer) I should imagine that it'll spice things up a bit more.   

       Sounds worth a try. And should make headers less of a pain in the neck.
scubadooper, May 24 2003

       Man, I hate that. I thought for sure we were talking about American football. Must we be the only ones who call it soccer?!
galukalock, May 24 2003

       You are supposed to head the ball with ermm your head.
The Kat, May 24 2003

       So, this isn't the Social Event of the Season?
thumbwax, May 24 2003

       What would happen? People would poke holes in it to inhale and do dumb chipmunk voices, that's about it.
waugsqueke, May 24 2003

       you say that like its a bad thing :)
po, May 24 2003

       I thought it was about American football as well.
Talk about pain in the neck headers.

       I think the "lighter than air" thing is a difference of milligrams, so I don't think most people would notice. Maybe in addition, we could place strategic counterweights around the football (the rest of the world's version, not the US version as it needs no fixin'), so that it would spin erratically.

[thumbwax] Why do firemen have bigger balls than policemen? Because they sell more tickets.
latka, May 25 2003

       Yeh you must be the only people to call it soccer cos you are too dumb to realise that football involves the use of the foot for the most part of the game. You should call your version of "football" " throw the ball and wait around for an hour whilst everyone falls asleep. or just add american at the start at least
gomez2k, May 25 2003

       The word soccer comes from an abbreviation of the word Association (as in the last part of FIFA). Back in the 19th century rest-of-the-world football was deliniated by association football, which was abreviated in text to Asoc. football, it didn't take long for us to just drop the word football and add "cer" to the end of "soc". hence, Soccer.
Greenline, Sep 23 2003

       Hrm. I figured the "Association" part came from Britain's FA.
disbomber, Apr 06 2005

JesusHChrist, Apr 06 2005

nineteenthly, Apr 07 2005

       If we could somehow get H- ions in there, then it would no longer be a diatomic molecule, which would mean double the weight reduction of trapped gas. The problem is that the lighter the gas molecule (or atom, or ion) the more quickly it leaks out of the container.   

       That being said, the weight of the gas inside (and its "buoyancy" in the "fluid" atmosphere) would have a negligible effect on American footballs. Soccer balls have larger volumes and lighter weight, so they MIGHT see a SMALL benefit. Maybe. Or maybe not.
justibone, Apr 07 2005

       What about a superstrong carbon fiber bucky-ball shaped soccer ball filled with vacuum? Wouldn't that be lighter than hydrogen?
JesusHChrist, Apr 08 2005

       Yes, but it probably wouldn't roll.   

       For the actual main idea, bun. I came across it whilst checking to see if it had been written.
dbmag9, Dec 05 2005

       Mythbusters (a show on the Discovery Channel) just tested this, using a regular football and not a soccer ball, but its still the same principle. The football filled with helium didn't go as far as the normal football, since the normal ball was heavier it had more momentum and was able to go farther. I'll look for a link to that episode.
MikeOxbig, Feb 27 2006

       Take a FIFA approved soccer ball. Assume the circumference (C) of the gas inside is 68cm (allows for a ball within the 68-70 cm legal range). C = 2 pi r, and so V = 4/3 pi r³ = 4/3 pi (C/2 pi)³ = C³/(6 pi²) = 5309.8 cm³ = 5.3098 L   

       Assume a pressure of 202.650 kPa (two standard atmospheres).   

       Mass of Helium: 2 * 0.1786 g/L * 5.3098 L = 1.8966 g   

       Mass of air: 2 * 1.2 g/L *5.3098 L = 12.7 g.   

       The helium-filled ball would be about 10.8 g lighter.   

       For an air-filled starting mass of 430 g, the relative helium-filled mass is 419.15 g / 430 g = 0.975   

Soccer ball specifications: FIFA (link). Gas densities: Wikipedia.

       Someone else can do the calculations for a non-spherical ball.   

       //What about a superstrong carbon fiber bucky-ball shaped soccer ball filled with vacuum? Wouldn't that be lighter than hydrogen?//
No. It would be much heavier as it would have to resist compressive rather than tensile forces. This would far outweigh the elimination of 0.95 g of hydrogen. Incidentally, the forces would be nearly equal-and-opposite, as there's about 1 atmosphere of pressure difference in each case.
//It wouldn't roll// It also wouldn't bounce, as this relies on the compression of the internal gas.
spidermother, Feb 27 2006


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