Essay PreviewMore ↓
To investigate how high a tennis ball will bounce back after it has
been dropped from a certain height
How a Tennis Ball Bounces
As the ball is elevated the ball gains gravitational potential energy
equal to the ball's weight multiplied by its change in height1. When
the ball is dropped, the height decreases, and therefore so does the
gravitational potential energy. At the same time, the velocity of the
ball increases due to gravity, and therefore the kinetic energy
increases, as kinetic energy half the mass of the object (in this case
the falling ball) multiplied by velocity squared (Source: Physics for
You GCSE textbook). When the ball hits the floor the kinetic energy
goes into deforming the ball from its original round shape to a
squashed, oval shape. A tennis ball contains a rubber shell, which is
filled with compressed gas. The ball is most stable in a round shape,
so the gas inside expands to push the ball back to form the round
shape. This forces the outside of the ball to push out and therefore
bounce back up2. However, the ball will not bounce back to its
original height due to it losing energy as heat and sound energy when
hitting the floor.
The independent variable in this investigation is the height that the
ball is dropped from. The dependent variable that will be measured is
the height that the ball bounces back. The control variables that will
need to be kept constant if the results are to be as accurate as
1. The weight of the ball; we will use the same ball throughout the
experiment to ensure that the results are as accurate as possible.
2. Material of the ball; as the ball is the same one used, this will
be kept the same also.
How to Cite this Page
"Investigating the Bounce of a Tennis Ball after It Has Been Dropped From Certain Height." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Aug 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Investigating How the Height From Which a Table Tennis Ball is Dropped Affects Its Bounce When a table tennis ball is dropped onto a surface it bounces. The height of the bounce depends upon a number of factors; the pressure of the air in the ball, the height from which it is dropped, its material, mass and its temperature; the type of floor surface, its temperature and its angle; and the acceleration due to gravity, the temperature and the air resistance of the air that the ball will pass through.... [tags: Papers]
1736 words (5 pages)
- Investigating the Bounce of a Squash Ball 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.... [tags: Papers]
5410 words (15.5 pages)
- Investigating the Effects of Temperature on the Bounce Height of a Squash Ball Aim: How temperature affects the bounce height of a squash ball. Prediction: I predict that the warmer the squash ball is the higher the bounce height of a squash ball will be. Apparatus: * water from a kettle * kettle * ruler * clamp * clamp stand * beaker * squash ball * thermometer Diagram: Method: § Collect all the equipment needed for this investigation.... [tags: Papers]
800 words (2.3 pages)
- Investigating the Effect of Temperature on the Height a Squash Ball Bounce Aim: To investigate the effect of temperature on the height a squash ball bounces. Prediction: I think that the higher the temperature of the squash ball, the higher the squash ball will bounce. I think that as the temperature doubles so will the height of the bounce. I think that they will be directly proportional. Scientific Knowledge: If you drop a ball onto a hard floor. It will rebound, but even the bounciest ball will not bounce back to its starting position.... [tags: Papers]
1515 words (4.3 pages)
- Tennis vs. Golf I 'm going to compare tennis to golf to reveal the similarities and differences between the two sports. I think you will be surprised how similar they are. They both depend on the swing of your body; grips of your hands, the strike zone of the ball and both are a mental game. Tennis and golf are also very different in many ways. The types of balls used to play the game, materials used to make the balls and equipment used to hit the balls. Tennis is a team sport and an individual sport.... [tags: Golf, Golf club, Golf ball, Tennis]
1927 words (5.5 pages)
- My start in tennis started different than most. That is because my father is a tennis professional. Not the type of pro that plays around the world but a teaching pro that works at a tennis club. Naturally my parents started to have me take lesson when I was fairly young, I would say around 4 to 5 years old. I didn’t stick with it originally and at around 7 I stopped playing tennis altogether. My dad never tried to force me to play tennis and even encourage me to play other sports. I started playing basketball around the same time I stopped playing tennis.... [tags: High school, College, Tennis, Play]
1446 words (4.1 pages)
- Factors that Affect the Bounce of a Ball Introduction There are many factors which will affect the bounce of a ball: · The size and shape of the ball · The material the ball is made from · The surface it is bounced on · The weight of the ball For example, a ball dropped on sand would absorb more energy than a ball dropped on a concrete floor. Aim To investigate the bounce of a ball. Prediction I predict that when you decrease the height you release the ball from, the height the ball bounces back up to will remain the same.... [tags: Papers]
763 words (2.2 pages)
- As many can tell you there is nothing quite like the feeling of playing the sport you love with crowds cheering for you to win. Everyone can feel this way because sports are relatively simple and easy to play with practice. I remember I used to hate the idea of playing any sport, but when once I started to play I didn’t want to stop; two sports that I particularly enjoyed playing were baseball and tennis. Although Baseball and tennis are both sports that involve using a club to hit an airborne ball, they differ because of the equipment used to play them, the rules for each game and the way points are scored.... [tags: Tennis, Basketball, sports,]
526 words (1.5 pages)
- Tennis Ball Investigation Aim: Investigate the factors that affect the bounce of a tennis ball. Key factors (variables): 1) Height of drop 2) Surface of bounce 3) Gravitational pull 4) Room temperature/ball temperature 5) Weight of ball 6) Material of ball 7) Brand of ball 8) Age/wear of ball 9) Size of ball 10) Force of drop/push How the key factors will affect the bounce: 1) The higher the drop the higher the bounce 2) The harder the surface the higher the bounce 3) The weaker the gravitational force the higher the bounce 4) The warmer the ball the higher the bounce 5) The lighter the ball the higher the bounce 6)... [tags: Papers]
1476 words (4.2 pages)
- Missing figures Tennis racquets with old type of strings did not allow power and control over the racquet at the same time. To get a powerful stroke player had to hit the ball with the area of racquet closer to the tip of the racquet (toe). To obtain control and to reduce vibration of the racquet, player had to hit the ball with the area of racquet called “sweet spot”, located around the geometric center of the head. NASA’s 1973 Skylab 3 mission showed that tapered strings can move the “sweet spot” from the center of the racquet toward the position of greater power.... [tags: physics sport sports tennis]
830 words (2.4 pages)
bounce up to a less or greater distance. As the temperature of the
ball is not easily controllable we left approximately a minute
between each drop to ensure the ball had returned to room
4. Air pressure (acting on the ball). Although this is not easily
controllable, we can assume the air pressure is kept fairly
constant as the experiment was conducted in the same classroom.
I predict that the higher the ball is dropped from the higher it will
bounce back. This is due to the fact that the higher the ball is
elevated, the greater its gravitational potential energy, the greater
amount of kinetic energy it will gain when falling, and therefore the
greater the energy the ball has to bounce back with. I predict that
the ball will never bounce back to its original height, due to the
energy the ball loses as mentioned above.
The ball will not back at all when it is "dropped" from a height of
0cm, as there is no gravitational potential energy gained by the ball.
Due to this when I plot a graph of The Height the Ball is dropped from
against the average height that the ball bounces back I expect that
the line of best fit will look something like this:
The line of best fit will go through (0,0) indicating direct
A preliminary experiment was carried out to enable us to predict and
to make the actual experiment as reliable as possible by adapting the
* Meter ruler
* Retort stand and clamp
* Tennis Ball
1. Attach the clamp to the retort stand
2. Clamp the ruler so it stands vertically, as parallel to the
retort stand as possible to ensure that the readings are accurate.
3. One person will hold the ball at 100cm, and when the second
person knows that the ball is about to be dropped, they will drop
4. The second person will, as accurately as possible, read the
height at which the ball bounced back to.
5. This will be repeated twice more, and an average found of the
results for greater accuracy.
6. This method will then be repeated at 90cm, 80cm, 70cm, 60cm,
50cm, 40cm, 30cm, 20cm, 10cm and then left at 0cm.
The experiment is fairly hazard-free, although bags and stools were
removed from the vicinity of the experiment, to ensure that any injury
caused by tripping etc was prevented.
Height Dropped (cm)
Height Bounced Repeat 1 (cm)
Height Bounced Repeat 2 (cm)
Height Bounced Repeat 3 (cm)
Average Height of Bounce (cm)
As predicted, the graph's best fit line goes through the origin,
indicating direct proportionality between the height from which a
tennis ball is dropped, and the height at which it bounces back to.
There were no blatant anomalies in my results, so I decided to use the
same, unchanged method for my actual experiment.
Height Dropped (cm)
Height Bounced Repeat 1 (cm)
Height Bounced Repeat 2 (cm)
Height Bounced Repeat 3 (cm)
Average Height of Bounce (cm)
Through our investigation I confirmed my theory that the greater the
height a ball is dropped from, the greater the height it will bounce
back to, the straight best fit line on t both the graphs passing
through the origin also confirm this. As the line of best fit is
straight we can also deduce that the smaller the height the ball is
dropped from the smaller the height the ball will bounce back to.
I thought about what happens after the ball has bounced once, and
whether or not it continues to bounce infinitely at smaller and
smaller heights. However this could not happen, as eventually the ball
loses energy through friction with the air and the material, heat, and
sound energy, causing the ball to eventually stop bouncing.
To extend the experiment, there a number of investigations we could go
1. The bounce back heights of different balls, of different
2. The number of bounces a ball will make before stopping.
3. Carrying out these experiments in a vacuum, and testing whether
or not air resistance affects some balls.
By using the coefficient of restitution, we can measure how much
bounce there is, or in other words, how much of the kinetic energy of
the colliding objects before the collision remains as kinetic energy
of the objects after the collision. With an inelastic collision, some
kinetic energy is transformed into deformation of the material, heat,
sound, and other forms of energy, and is therefore unavailable for use
A perfectly elastic collision has a coefficient of restitution of 1.
Example: two diamonds bouncing off each other. A perfectly plastic, or
inelastic, collision has c = 0. Example: two lumps of clay that don't
bounce at all, but stick together. So the coefficient of restitution
will always be between zero and one3.
To measure the coefficient of an object falling to the floor the
Where c is the coefficient, h is the height the ball bounces back and
H is the height that the ball is dropped from.
I worked out the coefficient of restitution for the both the
preliminary experiment and the main experiment.
Preliminary Experiment: Coefficient of Restitution of the tennis ball
used = 0.76
Main Experiment: Coefficient of Restitution of the tennis ball used =
Although the exact same ball was used for both the experiments, by the
second time, the ball's coefficient of restitution was less.
This could be perhaps due to air seeping out of the ball between to
the experiments, which is why tennis balls sometimes lose their
'bounciness'. For this reason, tennis balls come in pressurized
containers, the pressure exerted on the outside of the ball being
equal to the pressure of the inside of the ball, to prevent any gas
By comparing these coefficients of restitution to what the
manufacturers claim their balls coefficients of restitution to be
(0.75) we can see that our ball is still quite "bouncy".
I feel that the experiment went very well, with no anomalies, and both
experiments confirming my previous predictions. The accuracy of the
experiment was maintained throughout, with constant control variables,
and averages found wherever possible, to give the greatest accuracy.
To give greater accuracy, although it is not needed to confirm my
predictions, there are a number of things that could be done. For
1. Increasing the range of the measurements to 0cm - 200cm
2. Using digital imaging to get an exact height at which the ball
bounces back, instead of using our eyes and reactions.
3. Doing more repetitions, and finding averages.
Sources and Bibliography
1 Physics for You GCSE textbook
2 Factors Affecting A Bouncing Tennis Ball website. Address:
3 Coefficient of Restitution website. Address: