Demos: 2A-04 Ping Pong Ball Cannon
This demonstration will show how air pressure can dramatically affect everyday objects. By evacuating the cannon (PVC pipe) and then allowing air to quickly enter the cannon, it will propel a ping pong ball with enough energy to blast through an empty soda can.
Directions for doing the demo: Safety first, when setting up the ping pong ball cannon, never stand within the axis of the cannon. It is possible that the ping pong ball could come out either end of the cannon. Place the ping pong ball in the cannon opposite the target. Make sure both openings of the cannon are completely sealed. Turn on the vacuum pump to remove the air out of the cannon. After a short period of time (approximately 1 minute) puncture the seal at the breach end (opposite the target) and the cannon will fire the ping pong ball (with accelerations approaching 5000 g's).
Applications: Air Pressure, Newton's 2nd Law, Fluid Dynamics, Conservation Laws