Topic: Gas Dynamics

Ping pong funnel experiment




Understanding air pressure.


The ping pong funnel experiment involves having a ping pong ball in the bowl of a funnel and blowing through the funnel. The ball, instead of being blown away, is tightly held in the bowl. To complete the experiment, follow two steps:


  • Ping pong ball
  • Funnel



Insert the ping pong ball into the funnel and blow on it hard. Try tilting your head back so that the end with the ball is pointing toward the ceiling. See if you can blow hard enough so that, when you invert the funnel, the ball doesn’t blow away.


See if you can pick the ball up from the table.

When you blow into the funnel, the air where the ball is moves more quickly and creates a lower air pressure than the rest of the air that surrounds the ball. As a result, the air pressure underneath the ball is lower than the surrounding air, which is a higher pressure. The higher pressure air pushes the ball back into the bowl of the funnel — regardless of which way you point the funnel.