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Floating Table Tennis Ball

Experiments | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

How to Make a Floating Table Tennis Ball

What You Need

  • A one litre plastic water bottle
  • A drinking straw with a bend
  • A table tennis ball
  • A hammer
  • A nail
  • Tape
  • Scissors/ knife

6 Steps to Make a Floating Table Tennis Ball

  1. Tape the top of the bottle, after the neck, where the bottle stops curving and is straight. Now using a sharp knife; carefully cut out the top part, above the tape.
  2. Using a hammer, punch a thick nail into the bottle cap. Always be careful and don’t hurry when doing these steps. If need be, ask your parents to be with you.
  3. Take the nail out and insert the cap onto the bottle and close it.
  4. Make a 90 degree bend with the straw; and insert the short end into the bottle cap.
  5. Put the longer side of the straw inside your mouth. Invert the bottle top.
  6. Hold the table tennis ball over the open end of the bottle and blow air through your straw.
    Alakazaam! The ball is floating in mid air and following your mouth. That is some marvelous feat you have achieved.


    How does it work?

  • The ball floats using Bernoulli’s principle, which is also the reason objects like aeroplanes, which are heavier than air, can fly.
  • Bernoulli’s principle states that as air moves faster over a surface, it pushes less on that surface. This creates an area of low pressure.
  • The air from your mouth moves fast and so creates a low pressure column in the line of the ball.
  • The ball is forced to stay inside the column, by the high pressure outside; even though it is wobbling and trying its best to escape.

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