Tennis Ball Launcher
The Tennis Ball Launcher is a simple exhibit with tremendous “wow” factor.
The visitor pulls the rope, raising a bowling ball 1 meter. When released, the falling ball compresses the air below, and propels a tennis ball up to over ten meters into the air.
This seemingly simple demonstration provides many examples of the laws of physics. The basic pneumatic principle of the exhibit can be grasped by school age visitors, but the subtleties of the actual mechanisms involved have sparked impromptu arguments among degreed academics.
A set of rings and target can be included to give a visual reference and a satisfying thud.