In the Name of Science: 20,000 Bouncy Balls Dropped from Helicopter

  • Share
  • Read Later

We’re not so sure about the scientific validity of this experiment, but it looks like everyone is having a ball! (Get it?)

Utah State University’s Physics Department set a new record yesterday when it organized a ball drop greater than New Year’s Eve in Times Square. From 100 feet above a parking lot, a helicopter dropped 20,000 colorful bouncy balls. And the shocking result? They bounced, and the crowd went crazy.

(More on NewsFeed: See what the great blizzard of 2011 looked like from space)

The experiment (and we use that term loosely) was part of the university’s “Geek Week,” and was supposed to demonstrate the effects of space weather on satellites. The balls represented electron radiation that batters spacecrafts, and a platform that was set up in the landing area signified the satellites’ protective shields. In space, if electrons get too close to the telescope, they cause it to charge up, which can affect the instrument’s computer system. Or something vague like that.

But all that this experiment really proved is that young adults divert right back to gleeful children in the presence of bouncy balls. It’s just science. (via The Salt Lake Tribune)

(More on See pictures of art in science)