MLA Citation: Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 1318"
How Everything Works 19 Oct 2017. 19 Oct 2017 <http://howeverythingworks.org/print1.php?QNum=1318>.
1318. Is bouncing related to elasticity or hardness? Can a hard body rebound? — DIY, Lyon, France
Bouncing is related to elasticity. Any object that stores energy when deformed will rebound when it collides with a rigid surface. As long as the object is elastic, it doesn't matter whether it's hard or soft. It will still rebound from a rigid surface. Thus both a rubber ball and a steel marble will rebound strongly when you drop them on a steel anvil.

But hardness does have an important effect on bouncing from a non-rigid surface. When a hard object collides with a non-rigid surface, the surface does some or all of the deforming so that the surface becomes involved in the energy storage and bounce. If the surface is elastic, storing energy well when it deforms, then it will make the object rebound strongly. That's what happens when a steel marble collides with a rubber block. However, if the surface isn't very elastic, then the object will not rebound much. That's what happens when a steel marble collides with a thick woolen carpet.


Return to HowEverythingWork.org
Generated for printing on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 10:36:57 EDT
Copyright 1997-2017 © Louis A. Bloomfield, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy