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Scientific Method Lab Report

Ravi Patel 9-25-16

Problem- Does temperature affect how high a tennis ball bounces?


When tennis matches are being played, the hot temperature increases agility and bounce rate of a tennis
ball, to furthermore improve the movement in a game. The main concept behind this experiment revolves around the
anatomy of a tennis ball, which includes a hollow rubber covered sphere with gas inside. The temperature changes
can create distinct differences of bounce by impacting the gas. While one temperature change could increase the
bouncing abilities of the ball, the other could do the total opposite.

The molecules inside of a tennis ball are in a certain conundrum of state, as the molecules are greatly
unorganized. The molecules constantly slide over each other to fill left over space, in this way the molecules can
easily expand and shrink. The gas inside helps the springs act to bounce the tennis ball. It is ultimately the pressure
of the gas which impacts how high the ball will bounce. Per “the scientific equation for determining
the pressure of gas is “p=rprt,” where “p” is the pressure, “r” is the density, “R” is a constant specific to the gas and
“T” is temperature. Therefore, heat will increase temperature making the gas molecules inside of the tennis ball
expand and furthermore add pressure to make the tennis ball bounce higher, a factor towards why tennis games are
usually played outdoors. A temperature decrease causes gas molecules to pull close and vibrate at a slower pace,
creating a lower bounce rate.

Independent variable- The independent variable in this experiment would be the temperature of the tennis ball as
that is the variable being changed throughout the process.

Dependent variable- The dependent variable in this experiment is the height of bounce as that is the result of the
temperature change.


Control group-

Hypothesis- If the particles expand when heated and release more energy, then the ball should bounce at a higher
height. On the opposite scenario, the particles should become more compact and move more sluggishly after being
frozen, therefore bouncing at a lower height

Experiment materials-

- 9 tennis balls (pumped)

- Freezer use & heated stove
- Metal tong
- Measuring tape
- Area with flat surface (concrete)
- Pencil & paper (record data)

Experiment procedure-

1. Collect and gather all nine tennis balls

2. Keep three tennis balls in room temperature
3. Place three tennis balls in freezer for about two hours
4. Hold each of three tennis balls over flame for about ten mins to heat (use metal tong)
5. After time proceeds collect all nine balls to prepare for drop testing
6. Get a friend to hold measuring tape over flat concrete surface on a height of 150 meters
7. Drop each type of ball separately and record bounce height
8. Repeat step 7 two more times with the remainder of six balls
Results on table-

Temp of tennis ball Height of bounce (cm) *Drop from 150cm

(Degrees Celsius) Trial #1 Trial #2 Trial #3
Room temp. (22 degrees) 50.2cm 51.2cm 47.5cm
Low temp. (-21 degrees) 7cm 11.5cm 12.3cm
High temp. (32 degrees) 84.6cm 87cm 82cm

Data on graph-

Tennis Ball Bounce Height! (dropped from 150cm)

84.6 87
90 82
Bounce height (cm)

60 51.2
50.2 47.5
20 11.5 12.3
Trial #1 Trial #2 Trial #3
Temperature of tennis ball (degrees celsius)

Room temp (22) Frozen (-21) High temp (33)


To conclude my experiment, it can be stated that my hypothesis is correct, as the temperature change did
have a major influence on the bounce of the ball. When the temperature was high, the ball bounced at a certainly
greater height than it did when in room and cold temperature. When the temperature was low, it was hard to enough
a bounce in the ball, as the molecules 100% did contract.

To furthermore evaluate and answer my question, it can be said that the temperature of a tennis ball does
have an impact on its bounce rate. If the ball is warmer, it will bounce higher whereas if the ball is colder, it will
have a low bounce rate. This therefore concludes my project.


"Does Temperature Affect How High a Tennis Ball Will Bounce?"LIVESTRONG.COM.

LIVESTRONG.COM, 28 Jan. 2015. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.

Lee, By Andrew. "How Does Temperature Affect the Bounce of a Tennis Ball?"Andrew Lees Science
Research. N.p., 19 May 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.