The Physical Model Of Trampoline – A Realistic Approach

In the previous blog, we discussed a physical model of a trampoline. The basic model revolves around the cyclic nature of energy.

The Cyclic Nature Of Energy:

Energy follows one fundamental phenomenon that can be iterated as “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it converts from one form to another.” As you jump down on a trampoline, your potential energy converts into kinetic energy. When you hit the trampoline below, the material absorbs the energy and stores it temporarily as elastic potential energy. As soon as motion stops, the material pushes you back, transferring all the elastic potential energy into your kinetic energy. Hence, the cycle continues.

The Problem:

However, there is a slight problem in the model described above. According to the model, the fun will never end; we will keep on jumping for a long time. Sadly that does not happen in real life, fun only continues for a few rounds. After which, you will find yourself lying on the trampoline, exhilarated because of the adrenaline rush. Hence, there is a factor missing that deviates the model from reality.

The Missing Factor:

Resistive forces are the missing factor, the inclusion of which will make our model more realistic. Resistive forces are forces that oppose the motion and change. This opposition results in the loss of energy from the system(you and trampoline) to the outside environment. These forces interrupt the cycle and cause energy in the form of heat and sound. There are two major forces at play.

Air Resistance:

Generally named as drag force. This force opposes your movement through the air, and it depends mainly upon your velocity. Due to such resistance, your body heats up during the process. Then the accumulated heat gets lost in the surrounding. Hence, your potential energy doesn’t only convert into kinetic energy but also heat.

Drag Force In The Material:

Apart from air resistance, frictional forces present within the material oppose change. Thus, at first, the force will prevent the fabric from stretching. However, once pulled, the force will prevent it from getting back to its place. Again there is a loss of energy in the form of heat.

Another form of loss occurs as sound energy – the squeaky sound you hear as you jump. Heat and sound are the primary form of losses that occur due to the material. You can even feel the heat as you touch the trampoline after a happy round.


The inclusion of resistive forces in our model now accounts for the losses that occur from the system. Due to the losses, eventually, all the energy reserve dies out, and your fun stops. However, at Flip-N-Fun Trampoline Park, the fun seldomly dies out. The physical model of trampoline helps us understand where the losses occur, and then we make efforts to cut them down. As a result, we only chose the best materials to make our trampoline. Such materials are incredibly elastic and keep the energy losses at bay. You can call us at 832-602-5400 to inquire about our fun packages.

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