Introduction: Floating Ping Pong Ball (Bernoulli's Principle)

About: I like making things and designing things but who is to say if I'm good at either but, I'm just here to have fun :D

This is a fun project that demonstrates a law in fluid dynamics called Bernoulli's Principle this principle states that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in static pressure or a decrease in the fluid's potential energy. The principle is named after Daniel Bernoulli. So here's a fun way to play around with Bernoulli's Principle.

Step 1: Supplies

What you will need:

  • Source of blowing air (Hairdryer, air compressor, your lungs, etc)
  • Some Ping Pong balls

Step 2: Take Your Source of Air and Point It Up Towards the Ceiling and Turn It On

If you are using a hairdryer make sure it is set to low or no heat so the ping pong ball doesn't melt
(The creator of this Instructable is not liable for any damage or hazard caused by attempting this project]
[Proceed at your own risk]

Step 3: Place the Ping Pong Ball on the Stream of Air

Watch it float!

Bonus challenge:

See if you can get two ping pong balls to float at the same time. What about three? Do you think you could get a baseball to float? What about a balloon? There are so many different objects and observations you can make.

Step 4: How Does It Work?

The floating ping pong ball experiment is a great example of Bernoulli’s Principle. Bernoulli was a Swiss scientist who, in the 1700s, discovered that the pressure of a moving fluid (air or water) is different from the pressure of a fluid (air or water) at rest. Bernoulli’s Principle states that the faster air moves, the less pressure the air exerts.

The ping pong ball will fly up from the hairdryer until it reaches a point that the force of gravity pushing down on the ball is equal to the force of the air pushing up on the ball. The air coming from the hairdryer is moving much faster than the air around it. Because the air is moving faster, it has less pressure than the air around it. The ping pong ball stays within the column of low-pressure air because of the high pressure surrounding it.

Make It Fly Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Make It Fly Speed Challenge