Greetings math friends, and Happy New Year! In today’s post we’re going do something a little different and take a look at the math behind the very famous and very shiny New Year’s Eve Ball that drops down every year at midnight. We’ll break down the shape, the volume, and the number of those dazzling Waterford crystals (and no this post isn’t sponsored) and look at some NYE Ball Fun Facts.
NYE Ball Fun Facts
Shape: Geodesic Sphere
Yes, apparently the shape of the New Year’s ball is officially called a “Geodesic Sphere.” It is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds.
Volume (Estimate): 288π ft3
If we wanted to estimate the volume of the New Year’s Ball we would could use the formula for volume of a sphere:
Number of Waterford Crystals: 2,688
Talk about the ultimate shiny bauble! The NYE ball lights up the night with all 2,688 crystals in the shape of different sized triangles, each with heights of 5.75 inches or 4.75 inches.
Number of Lights: 48 light emitting diodes (LED’s)
On each triangle, there are 48 LEDs: 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white, for a total of 32,256 LEDs on the entire NYE ball itself.
Permutations and Combinations:
Permutations: With this many lights and colors, there are over a billion potential permutations of colors on the entire NYE ball.
Combinations: Let’s break down one triangle with 48 LED lights each with 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white LEDs. How many possible combinations of lights are possible if we were to choose 7 blue, 5 red, 10 green, and 1 white turned on all at the exact same time?
We end up with the combination formula below:
That means that there are 496,793,088 possible ways that 7 blue lights, 5 red lights, 10 green lights, and 1 white light can be lit up on a triangle that is part of the entire NYE ball!
Interested in more NYE fun facts? Check out the sources of this article here.
NYE Fact Sheet from: timessquarenyc.org
NYE Ball picture: Timesquareball.net
If you like finding the volume of the NYE ball maybe, you’ll want to find the volume of the Hudson Yards Vessal in NYC here. Happy calculating and Happy New Year from MathSux!