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Experiment 2: Conservation of Energy

In this experiment you will explore The Law of Conservation of Energy.



Masking Tape 1 Ping Pong Ball Tape Measure *2 Sports Balls (Basketball, golf ball, etc.)


*You Must Provide


1. Find a room with a hard, flat surface that you will be able to drop a ball on. Hint: The harder the surface the better.

2. Using the tape measure, measure 0.50 meters above the flat surface. Use masking tape to secure the tape measure to the wall so you will be able to read the height of the ball.

3. Take the ping pong ball and place the bottom of the ball at the 0.50 meter mark.

4. Drop the ball and record the height the bottom of the ball reaches after one bounce in Table 2.

5. Repeat Steps 3 – 4 two more times for the ping pong ball.

6. Repeat Steps 3 – 5 for two other balls of your choice.

Table 2: Bounce Back Height for Various Objects
Ball Type Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Average Height (m)
Ping Pong Ball        

Post-Lab Questions

Table 3: Mass of Common Types of Sports Balls
Ball Type Mass (kg)
Ping Pong ball 0.0027
Racquetball 0.042
Golf ball 0.045
Tennis ball 0.057
Soccer ball 0.43
Basketball 0.62

1. Use Table 3 to calculate the potential and kinetic energy of each ball during different stages of its motion. Record your data in Table 4.

Table 4: State of Energy at Various Points in Motion
Ball Type PE0.5 meters KEbefore bounce PEnew max height TE KEafter bounce

2. Calculate the speed of the ball right before and right after the bounce.

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