Get Your Science On: Bernoulli Ball

Bryan shows us a surprising experiment you can do with a ping pong ball. You might think this is a trick, and you’d be right.

What’s Going On

As the air comes out of the pump and into the funnel, it spreads out and slows down. Bernoulli’s Principle says that the faster air has a lower pressure than the slow moving air. So you end up with low pressure air in the skinny part of the funnel, and higher pressure air in the wider part. The ping pong ball is held in the area of low pressure, so you can’t blow it out of the funnel!

Materials

  • pump (we used a hand pump for inflatables, but an electric would work)
  • hose or tubing (we just used the tubing from the pump)
  • funnel
  • small, lightweight ball (such as a ping pong ball)
  • tape

How to Build

Use the tape to attach the funnel and the pump to the hose. Science!