It may look like a simple sport, but bowling is surprisingly complex, and there is a lot that goes into knocking down the pins. Landing successful strikes is determined by several factors, and physics plays a huge role in working out the angle and lining up an execution of a strike.

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Researchers have discovered just how intensively they can apply physics to bowling. Even though the game remains uncomplicated, the construction of balls and the way they are thrown has taken on a whole new dimension.

A Bowling Robot

As bowling continues to grow in popularity, research into the physics of the game has become more common, and now, the world’s first bowling robot has been built.

The Throbot has a Pentium brain in which the throws of tens of thousands of bowlers have been recorded, and it’s been programmed to select the throw that would work best with the intended strike plan. This robot is designed to emulate the exact experience someone will have when bowling, and those who have seen it in action say its movements are uncanny.

Sophistication in Simplicity

Throwing objects at other objects is something we’ve done for fun since the dawn of time, and the premise of bowling is incredibly simple. In fact, it is this simplicity that makes it ideal for technological innovation.

Today’s bowling balls have been engineered to provide the best possible performance, and state-of-the-art materials have been used in their construction. A selection of different balls can be found at a shop like, and there’s sure to be an option to suit every bowler. Every ball has a urethane shell filled with polyester or a similar material. This lowers the ball’s inertia and concentrates weight in the centre.

By applying principles of physics and shifting this core one way or another, balls can be designed to bend or pull more to one side or can be designed for left- or right-handed use. Different weighted balls have also been manufactured, and these can be used for varying strikes, allowing players to aim more accurately.

The speed at which a ball is thrown, the force, and the composition of the lane also all play a role in the physics of bowling. Thanks to technology, players can work out how to improve their strike rate.