Mysterious Floating Orb
Explore Gravity and air pressure with some household tools!
Ping pong ball
Plug in the hair dryer and turn it to the lowest setting.
Turn the hair dryer so that the blower is facing up.
Carefully place the ping pong ball in the stream of air. What happened?
Reflect on this activity and extend it:
Try moving the hair dryer while the ball is floating. Does the ball stay in the air?
Can you toss the ball into the stream of air? Does it stay floating or does it hit the ground?
Gravity and air pressure are in a fierce battle for who can claim the ping pong ball. As gravity pulls down on the ball the strong stream of air is forcing it back up. At the same time, there is a high/ low system of pressure surrounding the outsides of the ball holding it inside of the cone of air. The ball floats wherever it has found equilibrium- an equal point of balance.
You can download a printer-friendly version of this activity below!