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Storing energy in a bouncing ball

  1. Mar 24, 2012 #1
    I found this text

    As the ball's surface dents during an impact, these polymer molecules move about and begin to exert forces on one another (storing energy in the process). As the ball rebounds, these molecules release their stored energy and push the ball back into the air.

    I'm not sure where this energy is stored. Is it just transformed from kinetic to potential? is it stored in the orbits of the electrons? do the electrons descend from a higher to a lower orbit when they hit the wall? if so, i don't see why.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2012 #2

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    It is elastic potential energy, due to atoms pushing each other around. The bonds are electromagnetic; the electrons do not change orbits with elastic deformation.
     
  4. Mar 24, 2012 #3
    ok, thanks.
     
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