Does the Size of a Ball Affect Its Bounce?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 25, 2020 9:23:01 AM ET

The size of the ball can affect its bounce due to air resistance, surface volume and density. However, mass can also play a part in how a ball bounces.

In a vacuum, two balls would bounce the same height regardless of size, due to a lack of air resistance and gravity. However, on Earth both gravity and air resistance will impact on the ball. If two balls contain the same mass, but are of different sizes, the larger ball will bounce less due to greater air friction against its surface. However, with solid balls of different sizes and masses, the larger ball is likely to bounce higher due to a greater gravitational to frictional force ratio. Both surface size and density of the ball can impact on how much internal energy a ball loses as it bounces.