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Ping Pong Physics

Ping Pong Physics



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Published by Sarah Don

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Sarah Don on Jan 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Investigation of The Best Ping-Pong Racquet Material
Sarah Donunder the direction of Dr. Malachite Greeninstitute of Ping-Pong Ball EngineeringResearch Science InstituteJune 26, 2008
This report is an investigation of energy conservation between a ping-pong balland different materials. Using
, the variation of the bounciness of a ping-pong ball on different surfaces could be explained. From the data obtained from theexperiment, a conclusion was reached refarding which of the materials tested was thebest to manufacture a ping-pong raquet out of.
1 Introduction
This report is an investigation of four different surface materials found in Simmons Dorm inorder to identify the best material for an improved ping-pong racquet. The four materialsare carpet, concrete, wood and linoleum. The ping-pong ball’s responsivness for each surfacewas observed. The hypothesis tested was that the ping-pong ball bounced a higher numberof times when dropped on concrete than on any of the other three surfaces.The controlled variables were the height from which the ping-pong ball was dropped, theping-pong ball-dropping person, the person who was quiding the ball-dropper, and the sameping-pong ball was used each time. The manipulated variable was the material on which theping-pong ball was dropped onto each time, and the dependent variable was the number of bounces that the ping-pong ball made with each of the three trials on each type of material.
2 Method
Three 30 cm rulers were taped to a vertical wall next to an area of carpet. A ping-pongball was dropped from 90 cm three times, but for each of the three trails, a person observedthe height of the ping-pong ball from eye level and guided the ball-dropper to make surethe drop-height was as close to 90 cm as possible. Then the three rulers were set up againon a vertical wall next to an area of concrete and three trials were carried out. The sameprocedure was carried out for wood and linoleum until all the trials were completed andrecorded.
3 Results
All the mean number of bounces for each of the different materials was rounded up to thenearest whole number because once the ping-pong ball has started a fraction of a bounce, it2
Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 MeanCarpet 3 3 3 3Concrete 13 14 14 14
1Wood 19 21 20 20
1Linoleum 15 15 16 16
1Table 1: Results and StatisticsFigure 1: Graph of number of ping-pong ball bounces and their uncertaintyhas to complete it. Thus, because counting the number of bounces is discrete, the uncertaintywas rounded up to 1. 1From the graphical representation in the graph above, it can be seen that the wood isthe best materical for bouncing a ping-pong ball, and carpet is the worst.1
4 Discussion
The results show that wood allowed the ping-pong ball to bounce a higher number of timesthan other surfaces. The results also show that carpet was the worst material for bouncinga ping-pong ball. There are several factors that may have impacted upon the accuracy of the results obtained. The concrete surface used was rough, uneven and covered in a layerof dust that acted like the carpet, absorbing some of the energy from the ping-pong ball.3

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