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Homework Help: How Do You Make A Ping Pong Launcher?

  1. Aug 17, 2006 #1
    Hey. :)
    I'm new here and this is my first post... so please bear with me... xo

    I'm a 4th year high school and we're going to have an activity in Physics tomorrow. We need to make a ping pong launcher that will make the ball stay in the air for the longest period of time. Here are the materials allowed:
    1/2 cartolina
    20pcs. rubberband
    ping pong ball

    We should design our own and I practically have no idea because this is the first time that we're going to have an activity that requires us to actually think and design and make something.

    I've though about making it in a "catapult" sort of way but I don't know how. A sort of "slingshot" form looks okay and easy to make. You know, roll the cartolinas to make two posts then attach the rubberbands between the two poles then you could propel the ball to the air through that set up.

    But there must be the BEST way and i need to know what it is.

    I'd appreciate all the help you can give.

    Thanks. :biggrin:
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2006 #2
    Wait... this isn't a redundunt question, is it?

    'Coz, you know, I'm new and all and maybe there's already like thousands who've asked before.

    If that's the case, sorry. T___T

    But if you would be so kind, please refer to me where I could find the help that UI would need.

    Thanks. ^____^
  4. Aug 17, 2006 #3
    I need some sleep. it's 3:42AM here so I'll be back later.

  5. Aug 17, 2006 #4


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    No idea what cartolina is. Not that it matters much.

    You should have little trouble working out what the characteristics of an ideal launcher are using physics, and work your way backward from there.
  6. Aug 17, 2006 #5


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    Dictionary.com tells me cartolina means "postcard" in Italian.

    I think a slingshot is the way to go. You can use the scissor handles to form the slingshot.

    If you know how to use a sling then probably that would be better than a slingshot. I don't know how to use a sling, but it looks like you could make it.

    Also you might want to look into making the ball heavier--maybe fill it with glue--if that's allowed.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  7. Aug 20, 2006 #6
    Thanks. ^__^

    Our activity's done already and, yeah, we made a slingshot.

    We've managed to let it stay in the air for 3.28 seconds.. but the longest was 4.02 seconds.. oh well.

    Thanks again for all the help. :D
  8. Aug 20, 2006 #7


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    The contest shouldn't have been keeping it in the air longest, it should have been launching the ball the farthest :S
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