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Abstract

This science fair project was performed to determine how the turf of a soccer field will affect the bounciness of a soccer ball. The tests were done by bouncing soccer balls on fields of Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass and on artificial turf.

Hypothesis

A soccer ball will bounce the most number of times on artificial turf.
 

Scientific Terms

Air molecules, air pressure, equilibrium, potential energy, kinetic energy

Background

Soccer ball physics

Soccer balls must be inflated with air before they can be played with. When air is pumped into the ball, the number of air molecules and consequently, the air pressure inside the ball increases. The ball starts to gradually inflate and expand outwards. Once the air pressure outside and inside the ball is the same, equilibrium is reached. Pumping more air into the ball beyond equilibrium will increase the tension on the latex wall of the ball and make the surface of the ball harder.

Raising the soccer ball to a higher position will increase its potential energy. As a soccer ball drops, the potential energy in the ball is converted into kinetic energy. Once the ball hits the ground, there will be a deformation of the shape of the ball and the kinetic energy will be converted into compressed potential energy. As the air decompresses, this potential energy is converted back into kinetic energy as the ball bounces upwards.

The same thing happens when the soccer ball is kicked. During impact between a player's foot and the soccer ball, the shape of the ball is "deformed" and the air in the ball becomes compressed. This compressed energy is then converted to kinetic energy resulting in a rebound that causes the ball to travel fast and for a great distance.
 

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Complexity level:
4
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 day for science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found. You can borrow a soccer ball from a friend, or purchase one at a sports store
Safety concerns:

None