Ping pong activity! science experiment : Fizzics Education


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Ping pong activity!

Ping pong activity!

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need

  • A Ping Pong Ball.
  • String
  • Tape
  • Running water


Ping pong ball on a string experiment - materials needed
1 Ping pong ball on a string experiment - taping the string onto the ping pong ball

Tape the string onto the ball.

2 Ping pong ball on a string experiment - ball hanging away from water stream at the start

Turn on the water tap.

3 Ping pong ball on a string experiment - Ball moving into the water stream

Hold the string and dangle the ping pong ball in the running water.

4 Ping pong ball on a string experiment - Ball moving towards water stream

Which way does the ping pong ball move; towards or away from the water stream?

6 Teacher showing how to do an experiment outside to a group of kids.

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7 A man holding a soda can with tongs and a bunsen burner heating the can base

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Why Does This Happen

A mathematician called Bernoulli found that areas where fast moving fluids are present have a lower pressure than the surrounding environment. Furthermore, he found that water running over a curved surface of also exhibits the same low pressure, the faster the water the lower the pressure.

So, why did the ball move toward the water stream? Fluids (and air) want to move from high-pressure areas into low-pressure areas. You created a situation where the wet side of the ball had lower pressure compared to the dry side of the ball. The high air pressure on the dry side of the ball pushed the ball into the low-pressure water stream.

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • Try the same experiment with the ping pong ball suspended near a fan or hairdryer.
  • Vary the speed of the water stream. Does this make a difference?
  • Setup the same experiment with larger balls. Can you see the same effect?
  • What happens if you suspend a cube-shaped block instead?

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