# Thread: why wont a bouncing ball ever bounce back to the original heigh that it was released from?

1. ## why wont a bouncing ball ever bounce back to the original heigh that it was released from? var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":false};

The first law of of thermodynamics states that the total energy, including heat, in a system and its surroundings remains constant.

This law should help explain why a bouncing ball will never bounce back up to the original height that it was released from.

2. The ball loses energy due to friction with the air and heat lost from the compression of the bounce.

3. because the air molecules collide with it and cause friction on it, this causes it to slow down and decrease its height each time!

4. i'm pretty sure its this:
the kinetic energy of the ball is transferred from the ball to the surface of which it is bounced on, therefore losing energy as it is bounced

5. Even if there was no air around (hypothetically) on earth; the gravity of earth will constantly be pulling the ball even when its bouncing upwards after striking the surface.

So even if we theorize that suddenly the earth loses it gravitational pull due to some freak of nature or scientific miracle(which would be impossible) after striking the ball will bounce back (Newton's 3rd Law- action/reaction) and then it will even cross the point where it started and continue forever till some external force strong enough stops it(Newton's 1st Law)...

So now its easier to understand, it is this external force of gravity which is stopping to reach its peak...(which should be infinite not just point of origin)

6. I don't think that air friction counts for much; I think a ball bounced on the moon would also lose energy. Think of the ball and the Earth as two balls bouncing off each other (which, of course, is what they are!). They exchange energy. The energy lost by the ball is gained by the earth. Most of the gain is dissipated as heat.

A"perfectly elastic" ball hitting a "perfectly elastic" Earth would not lose energy. But nothing is perfect!

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