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This investigation is associated with the bounce of a squash ball. I will be investigating 4 different types of squash balls.

Extracts from this document...



Contents Page


Background Knowledge


The Equation Of State

The Kinetic Theory Of Gases

More Physics Of Balls


How Ball Is Made

Testing Of The Ball

Ball Behaviour

Sources For Background Knowledge



Surface The Ball Is Dropped On To

Height Ball Is Dropped From

Rebound Height

Decisions On Variables


Proposed Method

Preliminary Testing

Drop Height

How Many Temperatures








Step By Step Procedure




This investigation is associated with the bounce of a squash ball. I will be investigating 4 different types of squash balls, which have different, bounce properties and compare them to each other and relate them to why each different type of squash ball is used. The relationship will be associated with how different balls are used at different levels of proficiency in the game of squash i.e. the squash balls that don’t bounce much will probably used at a less proficient level whereas the balls with the most bounce will be used at professional level. The different coloured squash balls I will be using are; white, yellow, red and blue, and I will be finding out what the difference is between them.

Background Knowledge


The three scientists Boyle, Amontons and Charles investigated the relationship between gas, volume and temperature. Boyle discovered that for a fixed mass of gas at constant temperature, the pressure is inversely proportional to its volume. So in equation form this is:

pV = constant if T is constant

Amontons discovered that for a fixed mass of gas at constant volume, the pressure is proportional to the Kelvin temperature. So in equation form this is:

p ∝ T if V is constant

Shown below this is represented on graphs in (oC) and (K).




       -273                            0



  1. T/K

Charles discovered that for a fixed mass of gas at constant pressure, the volume is proportional to the Kelvin temperature. So in equation form this is:

V ∝ T if p is constant.

The Equation Of State

...read more.


Testing Of The Ball

The current WSF Specification for the Standard Yellow Dot Championship Squash Ball as it appears in Appendix 7 of the Rules of Squash dates from October 1990, apart from a minor amendment made in July 1995, and determines the permitted diameter, weight, stiffness, seam strength and rebound resilience of the championship ball. No specifications are set for other types of ball, "which may be used by players of greater of lesser ability or in court conditions which are hotter or colder than those used to determine the yellow dot specification". But how are balls tested to ensure that they meet these specifications?

The testing procedure itself states somewhat confusingly that: "For the purposes of inspection, balls manufactured from the same mix shall be arranged in batches of 3000 numbers or part thereof manufactured in one shift in a day." Fifteen balls are then chosen at random from each batch and divided into three groups of five balls. One group is tested for diameter, weight, and stiffness; another group for seam strength; the third group for rebound resilience.

First the 15 selected balls must be left in the laboratory for 24 hours to ‘condition’ them to a temperature of 23oC. Their diameter, measured perpendicular to the seam, must be between 39.5mm and 40.5mm, and their weight between 23 and 25g. To be measured for stiffness the balls are held between two plates with the seam parallel to the plates and compressed at a rate of 45–55mm per minute. They are compressed by 20mm six times, the test measurement being made on the sixth deformation only. The stiffness of a ball is calculated by measuring the compressive force at the point where it has been deformed by 16mm and dividing that by 16 to give a ‘force per millimetre’. The result must be between 2.8 and 3.

...read more.



Also I was pleased with my idea of using holders, which attach to the squash ball to hold it under water to stop it from floating meaning the temperature would not be being applied to the whole of the squash ball. Also I kept the ball in the water for sufficient time for the water to heat the ball up to the desired temperature.

Sources of error could be due to the ball not being able to maintain the correct temperature and an electric water bath would have been a better method but this was also is a limitation, as we don’t have many at our sixth form. Really every piece of equipment including the tongs surface the ball bounced onto would all need to be at the same temperature for the experiment to work really accurately and fairly as the ball gradually cooled down during the course of a test.

I feel I did enough temperatures to give me enough points for my graph but I would like to have tried more temperatures either side of the ones I did but there are limitations again here as for a safety reason I cant go above 80oC as the rubber ball would start to melt and also getting below 10oC is very difficult.

Improvements have already been stated but further testing I would like to do is firstly the fourth ball, which I have already mentioned. I would like to test the polymer materials of each ball individually other than bouncing them i.e. stretching the materials.

Adam Grice        Physics Coursework        Page

...read more.

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