The Physics Of A Trampoline – Science Of A Fun Past Time

A famous saying goes like this, “it’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the landing.” Nevertheless, this quote seldomly crosses your mind while you are enjoying yourself on a trampoline at Flip-N- Fun Trampoline Park. The physics of a trampoline is as impressive as the act of “trampolining.” Hence, before we understand the science behind it, it’s imperative to comprehend a few related concepts.

Energy And Its Conversion:

Energy runs everything, and energy is measured as an object’s ability to do work. Energy is everywhere and in many forms, such as sound, light, and heat. However, to describe the science of a trampoline, we will consider only three forms of energy and a general law which connects all forms of energy. The three forms of energy we will be discussing today are known as:

  • Kinetic Energy (K.E.): Kinetic energy refers to the energy possessed by a moving object, and it’s a function of the object’s speed and mass. Thus, an object of more mass and higher speed will have more kinetic energy compared to its light weighted and slow counterpart.
  • Gravitational Potential Energy (G.P.E.): This is the energy an object or body possesses due to its position in space. This energy arises due to the presence of a gravitational field on earth. Earth likes to pull stuff towards its surface. Thus, if you take an object far away from the earth’s surface, the object stores energy. The energy gets released when the object is allowed free fall. Now, you know how Newton must have felt when the apple fell on his head.
  • Elastic Potential Energy: This energy is very similar to G.P.E.! An object stores elastic energy due to its ability to stretch and compress without snapping, tearing, or deforming.

Every form of energy is related by a general law of conservation, which goes like this, “energy cannot be created or destroyed but transformed from one form to another.”

The Physics of A Trampoline:

Imagine you are standing on a tall support system a few meters above a trampoline. Due to your position, your body has stored G.P.E. Now, you let yourself go and fall freely onto the trampoline below. As you fall, you gain velocity and lose height, which means you pick up kinetic energy and let go of G.P.E. Now, the kinetic energy turns into G.P.E. The conversion finishes as you are about to hit the trampoline.

As you hit the trampoline, your body slowly comes to a halt. So, where did all that kinetic energy go? It converts into the E.P.E. of the trampoline surface. The trampoline material is very elastic, so it accommodates all the K.E. by stretching. However, whatever stretches wants to compress and return to its resting state. As a result, the material shortens and returns the energy back to your body and launches your body back to where it came. Finally, the energy cycle loops back in reverse.

Conclusion:

That was a simple model of how a trampoline works. The physics of a trampoline revolves around energy cycles, just like many other physical phenomenons. Trampoline science is a great topic to keep in mind while you enjoy jumping on a trampoline at Flip-N-Fun Trampoline Park. To learn about all of our fun packages, call us today at 832-602-5400.

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