The Effect Of Air Pressure On A Basketball


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The Effect of Air Pressure On A:

The Effect of Air Pressure On A A Google Science Fair Project by: Kyle Levy Basketball

Question / Problem:

Question / Problem How does the air pressure in a basketball affect the way it bounces?

Key Terms:

Key Terms Pressure the application of force to an object by something else in direct contact with it. Potential Energy the energy that a body or system has stored because of its position Kinetic Energy the energy that a body or system has because of its motion.

Key Terms:

Key Terms Thermal Energy characteristic for thermal neutrons at room temperature. Rubber Polymers a chain of rubber molecules that makes up the material rubber.


Procedure Set up ruler against wall Drop basket ball from the tape Pump up basketball to 12 psi Drop ball Record height Release 1 psi of air till basketball is at 11 psi Repeat process

The Process:

The Process Potential Energy When you are holding the ball Kinetic Energy When the ball is let go and traveling to the floor Thermal Energy Ball hits floor, kinetic is transferred into thermal Rubber Polymers Stretch and squeeze together when ball hits floor


Hypothesis If the air pressure is decreased inside the basketball, then the bounce height will decrease as well.


Materials 1 Sharpie Marker 2 Poster Boards (each at least a yard high) 1 Ladder (at least 10 feet) 1 Air Gage (goes up to at least 10 psi, uses unit psi) 1 Air Pump (should be a “pump” and have a needle) 1 Yard Stick 1 Camera (HD if possible) 1 Tripod 1 Flat Surface 1 Basketball (professional basketball, not youth) 1 Computer


Variables Independent Variable Air Pressure (psi) Dependant Variable Bounce Height


Controls Controls Flat surface Piece of tape where ball is dropped each time

Control Group:

Control Group The full basketball at 12 psi which was dropped first. 12 psi is used to compare


Observations As the psi in the basketball gets lower, the height that ball bounces decreases dramatically. Ex: From 11 - 12 psi bounce height drops 1/2 inch Ex 2: From 1 - 2 psi bounce height drops 3.7 inches



The Answer:

T h e Answer Hypothesis was correct As the pressure in the ball decreases, the bounce height decreases as well.

Relevance to Society:

Relevance to Society Basketball coaches know the ideal amount of air to pump up basketballs Can give player better work out based on lower psi Help air powered vehicles to know the right amount of air to fill up with. Compare scale of basketball to their scale

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