Do Tennis Balls Float? (Secrets Of Physics)
Physics is an interesting thing, and tennis naturally is connected to it, as are all things. When it comes to tennis balls, it’s interesting to learn about how it interacts in water and whether they float or not. In this article, I will go in-depth through the subject and cover some more important things about tennis.
But first, do tennis balls float?
Pressurized tennis balls float because they are hollow and filled with air; thus, the density is lower than water, remaining on the surface. However, pressureless tennis balls aren’t filled with air, so that they will sink. The vast majority of tennis balls are pressurized so that most balls will float.
Practice balls are sometimes pressureless if the owner wants to maximize the ball’s lifespan instead of investing in the best quality bounce. These balls aren’t filled with air, so the gravity will outweigh the buoyant force making the pressureless tennis ball sink.
Let’s take a quick look at the physics side of things regarding pressurized balls and learn why they float.
Why do tennis balls float?
In short, tennis balls float because they are less dense than water and so are positively buoyant. A buoyant is an opposite force to gravity, so buoyancy will push it upwards when gravity pulls down the object. Also, pressurized tennis balls are filled with air which is less dense than water, making them float.
If you are interested in physics and want to learn more about why objects float and buoyancy, check out this great article from Britannica.
Moving on to pressureless tennis balls, let’s learn why they don’t float.
Do all tennis balls float?
Not all tennis balls float. Unlike pressurized tennis balls that are filled with air that is less dense than water, creating a positive buoyancy, pressureless tennis balls don’t have air inside them which makes them denser than water, creating a negative buoyancy that makes them sink.
Most tennis balls out there are pressurized tennis balls because they are better in quality, and more of them are being procured, so it is quite a rare occasion if you randomly place a tennis ball on water and it sinks. This is because there are so few pressureless tennis balls when compared to pressurized ones.
Below are some things to remember what we already learned in a more helpful and quick format.
- Why does tennis ball float: Tennis balls float because they are less dense than water.
- What is a positive buoyancy: Positive buoyancy (push) force will make an object float because it can fight the gravitation (pull) force, making the object stay above the surface.
- What is negative buoyancy: Negative buoyancy is when the gravitation (pull) force focused on the object is stronger than the buoyant (push) force which makes the object sink.
Does water ruin tennis balls?
Water won’t ruin a tennis ball for good; however, as long as the tennis ball is wet, it will be much heavier, making it bounce far less and splash water on you when you strike it. You can dry the tennis ball in a dryer or wait until air and time dry it, and it can be used normally again.
There are many things to learn about tennis and rain because water affects the balls, racket, court, and more!
Will a table tennis ball sink or float?
Table tennis balls will float because they are far less dense than water, lightweight, and hollow. Table tennis balls are the smallest and lightest of sports balls which makes them float with ease. When you push a table tennis ball beneath the surface and let go, it will rise up with explosive speed.
In fact, the water’s surface tension itself will keep the table tennis ball above the water. If you want to learn more about table tennis balls and physics secrets, check out my post about it here.
Do golf balls float?
Golf balls don’t float because they are denser than water which creates a negative buoyancy, thus, the golf ball will sink. A golf ball’s diameter is 1.68inches (4.26cm) and it weighs 1.62oz (45.9g). There is a lot of mass inside a small space, making a golf ball unit weigh more than a water unit.
The difference between a golf ball that sinks and a tennis and table tennis ball that float is that the golf ball isn’t hollow, which makes it weigh more. Also, tennis and table tennis balls have air inside, making it even easier for them to float, unlike golf balls.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.