# Table tennis and air resistance

• Michael17
In summary, the conversation is discussing how to calculate the air resistance force acting on a falling table-tennis ball with a constant speed of 8.2m/s and a mass of 10g. The question arises whether the ball should be accelerating at g, but since it is in uniform motion, the acceleration and total force are both known. The main focus is on finding the unknown force of air resistance. It is also mentioned that if the speed is constant, there is no net accelerating force.
Michael17
Could anyone please explain to me how to work the following question out?

A table-tennis ball of mass 10g is falling towards the ground with a constant speed of 8.2m/s. Calculate the magnitude and direction of the air resistance force acting on the ball.

Shouldn't the ball be accelerating at g? But it falls at constant speed, huh?

What forces are acting on the ball? Since it is in uniform motion, the acceleration and total force are obvious. Should be easy to find the unknown force of air resistance!

vivesdn said:
Shouldn't the ball be accelerating at g? But it falls at constant speed, huh?

If the speed is constant doesn't it mean to you that there is no net accelerating force?

## 1. How does air resistance affect the movement of a table tennis ball?

Air resistance, also known as air drag, creates a force that opposes the direction of motion of the table tennis ball. This force increases as the ball's velocity increases and can significantly affect the trajectory and speed of the ball.

## 2. How do table tennis players adjust their gameplay to account for air resistance?

Players can adjust their gameplay by using different techniques and strategies, such as adjusting the spin and speed of their shots, to counteract the effects of air resistance. They can also choose to use different types of equipment, such as lightweight or aerodynamic paddles, to minimize the impact of air resistance.

## 3. Does air resistance affect the trajectory of the ball differently for different types of shots?

Yes, air resistance affects the trajectory of the ball differently depending on the type of shot. For example, a topspin shot will experience less air resistance compared to a backspin shot because the topspin shot has a more streamlined shape that allows it to cut through the air more easily.

## 4. How does air density affect air resistance in table tennis?

Air density, which is affected by factors such as altitude and humidity, can impact the amount of air resistance experienced by the table tennis ball. Higher altitudes and lower humidity levels result in lower air density, which means there is less air resistance for the ball to overcome.

## 5. Can the speed and spin of the table tennis ball be affected by air resistance?

Yes, air resistance can affect the speed and spin of the table tennis ball. As the ball travels through the air, it experiences a force that slows it down and can also alter its spin. This is why players must adjust their shots and techniques to account for air resistance in order to maintain control and accuracy in their gameplay.

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