What makes a round bouncy? Have you ever wondered why some balls bounce better than others? A ball’s capability to bounce has actually a lot to carry out via its elasticity. So what is elasticity? It’s an object’s capability to go back to its original shape after being extended or squeezed. Objects that are even more stretchy are commonly more elastic, as well. Do you have pajama pants with elastic material in the top? You deserve to stretch to gain into them, yet they will shrink back to fit your waist!

In this science fair project, we’ll investigate bouncing ball physics to identify which round has the highest possible elasticity and uncover out just how elasticity contributes to bounce elevation.

You are watching: Why do some balls bounce higher than others


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Grade
Third Grade
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Problem:

Which of the following balls has actually the highest elasticity: a rubber sphere, a marble, or a ping pong ball?

Materials

Wooden board (a cutting board or a piece of scrap plylumber will work-related great)Yardstick, meter stick or tape measure with centimetersRubber bouncy ballMarblePing pong ballTable or wallTape

Procedure:

Set the wood board level on the ground next to a wall surface or table.Tape the meter stick to the wall or table as presented. Make sure that the meter stick starts via 0 is at the bottom. Before conducting this experiment, use this time to formulate your hypothesis. Which sphere execute you think will bounce the highest? Why?


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Have a partner drop the rubber sphere from the 25 centimeter mark and also record the elevation of the initially bounce in a table prefer the one listed below. Repeat 5 times and record bounce elevation for each of your 5 trials. It’s vital to drop the ball and also not throw it downward. Why execute you think this is?

Type of Ball

Drop Height

Bounce Height

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Trial 4

Trial 5

Average

Rubber

25 cm

Ping Pong

25 cm

Marble

25 cm

Rubber

50 cm

Ping Pong

50 cm

Marble

50 cm

Rubber

75 cm

Ping Pong

75 cm

Marble

75 cm

Typical the taped bounce heights from each trial together to discover the average bounce elevation for the rubber ball. Here’s exactly how to calculate an average:


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Repeat procedures 3 and 4 for the marble.Repeat measures 3 and also 4 for the ping pong ballHave a companion drop the rubber round 5 times from the 50 centimeter mark and also document the height in a table.Mean the videotaped bounce heights from each 50 cm trial together to discover the average bounce elevation for the rubber ball.Repeat actions 7 and also 8 for the marble.Repeat actions 7 and also 8 for the ping pong round.Have a partner drop the rubber ball 5 times from the 75 centimeter note and also document the height in a table.Mean the videotaped bounce heights from each 75 cm trial together to discover the average bounce height for the rubber round. How perform you think the elevation at which the sphere was dropped affects exactly how high it bounces? Why? You have to check out a pattern emerging!Repeat measures 11 and also 12 for the marble.Repeat steps 11 and 12 for the ping pong ball.

Results:

On average, the rubber bouncy ball will bounce the highest, adhered to by the ping pong round. The marble will bounce the leastern high.

Explanation:

When all 3 balls are dropped from the very same elevation, the rubber sphere will bounce the greatest bereason it has the best elasticity. When the rubber round hits the ground it gets compressed, or squiburned, and bereason it is extremely elastic, it easily retransforms to its original shape. When it does this, it pushes earlier on the ground shoots earlier up right into the air.

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The marble, which is the hardest out of the 3 balls, has actually the least elasticity, so it does not bounce as high. It doesn’t acquire squished as soon as it lands, so it has a harder time altering its direction from dvery own to up. The balls dropped from 75 centimeters will certainly bounce greater than thosedropped from 50 centimeters, and also the balls in the 50 centimeter trials will certainly bouncehigher than those in the25 centimeter trials. This is bereason the better the beginning elevation of the sphere, the higher the ball’s potential energy. An object has potential power because of its place. If an item is going to be dropped from high up in the air, it has numerous potential energy bereason the earth’s gravity has actually plenty of time to acceleprice, or rate up, the round once you let go of it—and also the much longer an object drops, the much faster it gets. So what happens to potential power when a ball is dropped? It transforms into kinetic energy, or the energy an item has as soon as it is relocating. The faster a things moves, the better its kinetic energy. Which object execute you think has a greater kinetic energy: a vehicle or an airplane?

Since gravity has actually the a lot of time to perform its project when the balls are dropped from 75centimeters, these balls have actually the many kinetic power by the moment they hit the ground. When the round hits the ground, all that kinetic energy has to go somewright here. A lot of it goes back into the round, providing it even more force to pop earlier up right into the air—so the better the potential power, the greater the kinetic power, and the better the kinetic energy, the greater the bounce!

Further investigation:

To check out gravity and also gravitational forces, acquire a stopwatch and time each ball from the moment it is dropped till it hits the ground. Which ball hits first? Does weight matter? Does elasticity matter?

Result: All balls should take the same amount of time to reach the ground once dropped from the same height. Weight and elasticity do not matter.


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