Hairdryer Hover Ball
Hairdryers are not only good for drying hair. Impress your friends and float a ping pong ball in mid-air for minutes.
Suitable for kids aged 7+ with parental supervisionCAUTION
This science activity should only be done under adult supervision as it requires the use of an electrical hairdryer. Ensure the hairdryer is always on its coolest setting.
- Ping pong ball
- Toilet roll, or cardboard tube (optional)
- Pencil (optional)
What to do:
- Plug the hairdryer in at the wall, and put it on its coolest setting.
- Place the ping pong ball on top, then switch the dryer on. Wow! Watch the ball float and hover in mid-air.
- Try tilting the hairdryer from side-to-side. How far can you turn it before the ball falls?
- With a friends help, try directing the ball through a toilet roll or cardboard tube. Try moving the hairdryer underneath the ball and get it to jump over a stick or pencil. Then try catching the ball on the other side with the hairdryer. Your own mid-air obstacle course! Are you more skill full than your friends?
Why is it so?
The stream of air from the hairdryer holds the ball up. But what keeps the ball from falling sideways? Bernoullis Principle, thats what. Believe it or not, but the fast-moving air from the hairdryer has a lower pressure, than the slower moving outside air. When the ping pong ball tries to leave the air stream, the high pressure outside-air pushes the ball back to where it came from. Ultimately resulting in ping pong levitation.