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Interactive video lesson plan for: Blasting Household Items with a Ping Pong Cannon

Activity overview:


Think a ping pong ball is harmless? Think again. Join Anthony and Tara as they create a ping pong ball vacuum cannon that packs quite a punch!

Materials Used:
- Regular vacuum or vacuum pump
- 8 ft of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe
- 2 slip connectors
- 1 inch diameter brass pipe with tapered threaded ends
- Gas valve w/ screw threads
- Vacuum hose
- Plumbers epoxy
- Mylar
- Pipe wrench

Experiment Tips:
- Make sure the mylar is securely fastened to both ends of the pipe so they don't release prematurely.
- Be sure to use some sort of bullet proof shield in front of your ping pong cannon to avoid injuries.
- Delicate items like empty soda cans and thin porcelain objects break the easiest.

Ping Pong Serve Record
The fastest serve ever recorded by a ping-pong player moved at about 70 mph (113 km/h).

Supersonic Speed
The lightweight ping pong balls have poor aerodynamics but are able to reach supersonic speeds! Despite their measly 2.3 grams, the balls delivered a startling amount of energy to targets: the equivalent of a 125 mile-per-hour fastball or a brick falling several stories.

How To Make Your Own
Steps on how to make a ping pong ball vacuum cannon of your own.

Join Anthony Carboni and Tara Long as they turn the world around them into a giant science experiment. New videos on Wednesdays!

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Special thanks to our Science Advisors!
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Hard Science Crew:
Executive Producer: Barry Pousman
Producer: Nicolette Bethea
Shooter: Michael Baca
Second Shooter: Matt Piniol
Production Assistant: Kendall Long
Editor: Conor Gordon

Tagged under: hard science,testtube,anthony carboni,tara long,discovery,science,science experiment,scishow,lab,science lab,experiment,real world,scientists,Revision3,ping pong,cannon,blast,shoot,compression,speed sound,potato gun,resistance,explode,toy ship,supersonic,mylar,PVC,porcelain pig, ,piggy bank,destroy,plumbers epoxy,vacuum pump,regular vacuum,pressure,aerodynamics,ping-pong

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