2C20.63 - Bernoulli Demo - Weather Balloon Curve Ball

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Bernoulli Demo - Weather Balloon Curve Ball
Bernoulli Principles on a Baseball
Area of Study:
Chemistry and Physics of the Environment
Large Latex Weather Balloon (Edmund Scientific), and Helium.

See also 2C20.63 in Chemistry and Physics of Everyday Experience.

Take the weather balloon and draw the stitches of a baseball on it. Fill the balloon with part air and part helium to the desired diameter, so that the balloon has neutral buoyancy. Tape the end of the balloon so that it is flat against the surface of the sphere. Throw the balloon into the classroom crowd with some spin and watch the balloon curve.

  • Rod Cross, "Visualizing Fluid Flow Around a Baseball Using Water Instead of Air", TPT, Vol. 59, #5, May 2021, p. 310.
  • David Kagan and Alan M. Nathan, "Simplified Models for the Drag Coefficient of a Pitched Baseball", TPT, Vol. 52, #5, May 2014, p. 278.
  • Yasuo Ogawara, "A Spherical Boomerang", TPT, Vol. 47, # 8, p. 555, Nov. 2009.
  • Rod Cross, "Aerodynamics of a Party Balloon", TPT, Vol. 45, #6, Sept. 2007, p. 334.
  • Rod Cross, "Aerodynamics in the Classroom and at the Ball Park", AJP, Vol. 80, #4, Apr. 2012, p. 289.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.