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Factors affecting the bounce of a ball

Extracts from this document...


Ira Gupta

X - B

Physics Lab Report

Factors affecting the Bounce of a ball

Aim: To investigate the effect of the material of a ball on its bouncing height.

Introduction: When a ball is dropped from a height, it bounces back after hitting the surface, as stated by Newton’s third law which states that every action has an equal opposite reaction. Of course, in the real world this does not apply as much of the force is lost to overcome friction. The height of the bounce of a ball can be affected by various factors like height of release, material of the ball, type of surface it is being bounced on etc. In this experiment the effect of the material of a ball on the its bounce height will be investigated. The different materials will be rubber (a solid rubber ball (commonly known as a crazy ball) and a hollow rubber ball (squash ball)), plastic and wood (a hollow wooden ball)

Hypothesis: Based upon prior experience with the squash ball and

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Height of bounce when dropped from 100 cm above surface

Height of bounce when dropped from 200 cm above surface

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Trial 4

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Trial 4

Crazy ball









Squash ball









Plastic ball









Wooden ball









Processed Data

Table 2:

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Conclusion: Thus, through thorough analysis and experimenting it can be said that the hypothesis stated earlier about the bouncing height of the crazy ball and the squash ball holds true. The order in which the material affects the bouncing height of the ball is: The squash ball bounces the least, the wooden ball a little more, the plastic ball bounces more with a considerable difference from the previous one and the crazy ball bounces the most with a very big margin from the plastic ball.

Evaluation: Overall, this experiment proved to be successful and yielded accurate results. However it could have been made more accurate through certain measures taken:

  • The estimation of the height of the bounce could have been done by many people and the average could have been taken for further accuracy
  • A lot more trials could have been taken to come to more general conclusions.
  • More and more types of balls could have been used to get a long series of results and better generalizations
  • The time taken for a ball to hit the ground and bounce to its maximum could have been taken and whether the fastest bounce is also the highest could have been investigated.

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