While observing the bounce heights of various kinds of sports balls dropped from different heights onto a variety of surfaces, we thought of the following question: Could measurements of drop and bounce heights of balls of different diameters, but of the same material, falling from different heights, but on the same surface, be expressed by a simple mathematical formula? Our objective was to provide a simple classroom ball-drop experiment that produced robust and interesting data sets from which students could address this question. With a suitable choice of variables, all the ball drop data could be collapsed to a single curve, so that given the mass and drop height of the ball, the bounce height could be reasonably estimated (±10% of measured values).
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PAPERS| December 01 2014
Reflections on a Bouncing Ball
Phys. Teach. 52, 534–537 (2014)
Jim Rohr, Veronica Lopez, Tyler Rohr; Reflections on a Bouncing Ball. Phys. Teach. 1 December 2014; 52 (9): 534–537. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4902196
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