Q:

Why does a ball bounce?

A:

A ball bounces because it is elastic. As it hits a surface it pushes back and the surface also pushes it away, following Sir Isaac Newton's law of motion that states that with every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

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Different balls bounce differently because of the materials they are made from. When a ball is in motion, gravity acts upon the ball, giving it kinetic energy. When the ball hits an object, the kinetic energy has to be displaced in some way. This displaced energy causes the ball to become deformed. The act of reforming back into the ball shape is what gives the ball its bounce, and its material make-up is what makes the reformation and bounce stronger or weaker.

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Related Questions

• A:

Mass affects a ball's bounce through kinetic energy. The more mass an object has, the more kinetic energy it has when dropped, due to gravity.

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• A:

There are a variety of factors that affect the bounce of a ball, such as the size and shape of the ball and the rigidity of the surface it was bounced on. The ball trying to maintain its most stable shape is what actually causes the ball to bounce.

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• A:

Increasing a ball’s air pressure increases its bounce. The more air there is inside a ball, the more it resists deformation when it meets a rigid object, enabling it to bounce more elastically.