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Physics For Scientists & Engineers
Found in: Page 436

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Short Answer

Question: If the airstream from a hair dryer is directed over a table-tennis ball, the ball can be levitated. Explain.

Partial vacuum will lift up the ball.

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1: Bernoulli’s equation

The sum of the pressure, kinetic energy per unit volume, and gravitational potential energy per unit volume has the same value at all points along a streamline for an ideal fluid. This result is summarized in Bernoulli’s equation:

P+12ρv2 + ρgh =constant


P = Pressure of fluid

V = Volume of fluid

ρ=Density of fluid

h = Height of fluid in pipe

Step 2: Explain the reasoning

If the stream of air directed over the table tennis ball has very high velocity, it will create a low pressure over the table tennis ball, resulting in partial vacuum that will lift up the ball. This situation is based upon the application of Bernoulli’s principle.

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