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Q & A: Bouncing balls

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Most recent answer: 05/16/2013
Q:
i am doing a science fair project where i drop a ball and see how high it bounces. and i was wondering if small and lighter balls bounce higher? because i am using a lacrosse ball, a tennis ball and a ping pong ball. my hypothesis is the ping pong ball because it is the smallest and lightest
- nicole (age 10)
A:
Dear Nicole,
This a very nice project. There is no exact answer to your question because the results depend on a number of parameters: the height of the drop, the diameter of the ball, the type of surface the ball strikes, resiliency of the ball, etc. 
I encourage you to do lots of experiments and find out for yourself what happens.  Take your three balls and try them out with different heights and different rebound surfaces. You may be surprised.   Good luck and happy experimenting!
LeeH

(published on 05/16/2013)

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