That is an excellent question, and luckily itis even the type of question that you can answeryourself through experimentation. Below I willoutline a scientific experiment that you can do tofind the answer to your question, but in case youdon"t have the time, I"ll also tell you what ishappening.
You are watching: How does air pressure affect the bounce of a ball
When we inflated a basketball we are filling itwith lots of air. Basketballs are actually verysimilar to balloons, except that they havethicker, harder skins. The more air we pump intothem the more squished the air has to become tofit inside the ball. As the air becomes moresquished, it pushes more on the inside of theball. When you have a ball which is more inflated,there is more force pushing on the inside of thatball. (We call that air pressure). When a bouncingball hits the ground, you are temporarily pressingon the ball which squishes the air even more. Theair doesn"t like this, and presses back with acertain force. That force is what causes the ballto come back up. With more air in the ball, theair starts at higher pressure and pushes back thatmuch harder when the ball is bounced.
So that short answer is that more inflatedbasketballs bounce better because they have moreair pressure inside them.
This is easy to test. Just get an inflatableball and a pump. Have an adult help you take mostof the air out of the ball, then try to bounce it.Look at how high it bounces. Then use the pump toput a bit of air into the ball. Again, look at howhigh it bounces. Do this several times, until theball is completely inflated. This simpleexperiment involves all aspects of true science.You begin with a question, design an experiment,make observations and then draw a conclusion.
I hope that helps. Thanks for the question.
Inflated basketballs bounce better than flatbasketballs. Have you tried playing basketballwith a flat ball? It"s hard!
What is the difference between an inflatedbasketball and a flat basketball? An inflatedbasketball contains more air. Now, a basketballcan be thought of as a spring. When you compressor squeeze a spring, what does it want to do? Itwants to spring back to its original shape.Basketballs are just like springs; the air in abasketball is like the metal coil of a spring. Abasketball filled with air prefers to be shapedlike a sphere, but when you throw it at theground, it gets squished on impact. The air insideis then at a higher pressure and wants to returnto a lower pressure. A basketball bounces becausethe pressure of the air inside of the basketballsrestores it to its original shape after it issquished. The more air you have in a basketball,the better it springs!
Yes, fully inflated basketballs do bouncebetter than flatter ones. When a ball has more airinside of it, there is more pressure which causesthe material of the ball to be less floppy anddeform less when bounced. Also, when there is moreair there is a greater force acting against theground upon impact.
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Yes, basketballs that are inflated more dobounce higher than flatter ones. The extra airmakes it so the ball is harder. Think aboutthrowing a pillow at the ground. When it hits theground, it doesn"t bounce back, it just flops andsits still. If you have a basketball that has gonereally flat, it will do the same thing. It maybounce back just a little bit, but not very much.