Whizz Pop Bang reader Patrick, aged 7, asked a brilliant question: Why do bouncy balls bounce and don’t just stick on the ground like a rock?
Y the robot has the answer!
Unlike rocks, bouncy balls are made of elastic materials, such as rubber. Elastic materials are flexible – it’s easy to change their shape. But they return to their original shape after being squashed or stretched. When the ball hits the ground, it is squashed out of shape. Some of its movement energy is changed into elastic energy, stored very briefly inside the ball. Once the ball has come to a stop, this elastic energy is released as the ball returns to its original shape. The ball pushes against the ground and the ground pushes back, sending the ball back up into the air. BOING!
Now watch a ball bounce in slow motion!
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