NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1037448
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
The Bounce Meter
Nunn, John
Physics Education, v49 n3 p303-309 May 2014
This paper describes how a microphone plugged in to a normal computer can be used to record the impacts of a ball bouncing on a table. The intervals between these impacts represent the "time of flight" of the ball. Since some energy is lost in each rebound, the time intervals get progressively smaller. Through calculation it is possible to calculate the percentage energy lost after each bounce, and by extrapolating backwards it is possible to estimate the height from which the ball was dropped. This "experiment" demonstrates how the equations of motion and the concept of inelastic collisions can be used together to describe the motion of a bouncing ball. Pupils can study energy losses and the behaviour of different types of ball and find out which type gives the closest agreement between the height calculated by the theory and that measured prior to dropping the ball.
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A