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Aerodynamics of Air Hockey *

Difficulty
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.

Abstract

If you have an air hockey table, you know that the puck floats on a thin cushion of air when the table is turned on. With little friction, the puck can travel very fast. How much lift force is created by the air? Add small amounts of weight to the puck and see when it no longer floats to measure the lift force. How many air holes (on average) support the puck? How much force is generated by each air hole? Will a puck with a larger surface area, supported by more air holes (on average), support more weight in proportion to its area? (Remember to include the weight of the puck in the measurement.) Make your own test shapes by cutting thin cardboard or polystyrene sheet (from a hobby shop, or use old CD cases). Is lift generated if the puck has a rough surface? Tape sandpaper on one side of the puck, test, then flip it over as a control. What about other surfaces (different types of cloth, for example)?

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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Aerodynamics of Air Hockey" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 30 June 2014. Web. 24 July 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Aero_p024.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 30). Aerodynamics of Air Hockey. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Aero_p024.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-30

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