glass bounces high than rubber.

This isn’t true, is it? I bought a bottle of Snapple today (yummy) and inside the bottle cap read exactly as follows:

“Real Fact” #27
A ball of glass will bounce higher than a ball of rubber.
Get all the “Real Facts” at

How can this be? Won’t glass break? What is this?! So I went to the site to investigate this “Real Fact” business and of course the site was useless. They make no disucussion of anything, they just post a whole bunch of random, useless information… some of which I seriously doubt. Skeptical, I decided to turn to you lovely people. Help me out here, fellow dope addicts.

This is a total WAG, but I’d say that they mean that glass bounces higher from a very short distance. Like, if you compared both rubber and glass balls dropped one inch to the floor, the glass would techinically bounce higher.

But then again, Snapple also put the old Urban Legend that a duck’s quack doesn’t echo on their caps, so they can’t necessarily be trusted.

By the way, the subject should be glass bounces highER than rubber… hehe :smack:

well the bounce comes from energy stored elasticaly in the object dropped and the object fallen on. when objects colide there is not much choice for the energy to go - it can be stored elastically which gives you the bounce, can converted to heat, can be used for inelastic deformation, can be used for fracturing one or both objects, (I assume) can be used to create chemical bonds, and finnaly can be used for nuclear fussion.

I would say that glass heats up less and won’t deform at all unless it breaks so I wag it wins.

They used to sell a toy when I was kid that consisted of two glass balls on the end of strings that clacked togeather and bounced off of each other. A lawsuit waiting to happen, that one, but they did bounce

Bouncy bouncy. I have no idea if this is true or not.

BTW, there is a type of glass that doesn’t break nearly as easily. Or rather, many types, variations on a theme, as it were, if you will, as it may be. Insofar as to being salubrious, TEMPERED glass is much less brittle than ordinary glass.

I dunno how this affects bounceabilitiy.

bdger, are you sure that toy wasn’t meant for a more… how shall I put it… mature audience?

I think the idea is a bunch of bull… Maybe under some conditions with some materials, but I honestly doubt it altogether.

The toy was called clackers.
Deadly things they were.

The “Real Fact” is on the money.

When I taught college physics, I showed a video demo to demonstrate this. The demo consisted of a 2-foot long clear plastic tube with a block of steel at the bottom. Balls made of glass, steel, rubber, brass, and lead were dropped onto the plate. Glass bounced the highest; lead bounced the least high. Rubber was in the middle, and well below glass and steel.

Why is this? The more elastic a collision is, the less energy is lost due to temporary or permanent deformation (resulting in heat). A perfectly elastic collision (not possible on the macroscopic scale) requires that the colliding objects act as completely rigid objects that do not deform. (Therefore, no energy is lost from the system, and kinetic energy will be conserved.)

The demo was part of The Video Encyclopedia of Physics Demonstrations–the accompanying text/photo for this demo may be found in the .pdf file here:

I should have added that the pertinent demo in the linked file is Demo 05-04: Coefficient of Restitution.

Also, for clarity, change “plate” to “block” in the second paragraph of my previous post.

I’ve seen a prof demonstrate this with ceramic balls from Coors. The things bounced like a damn superball. :slight_smile:

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle…

I’ve spent way too much of my young life testing itty bitty glass balls (used to make traffic markings reflective) in a lab. The testing involved an awful lot of pouring the damn things from one place to another, and you wouldn’t believe how much those things bounced. Every horizontal surface in the lab would get covered with a uniform layer of them if you didn’t sweep up constantly, even if it wasn’t close to where you were pouring them.

Some anecdotal experience:

For my first job, I used to have to stock a cooler with glass juice bottles. A couple times they slipped, and sometimes if they landed just right (usually if the bottom hit the floor exactly square), then they would bounce right back up into my hand.

That is, if the bottom didn’t completely break off.

More anecdotal experience; the old style glass Coke bottles, when dropped from a moving car onto ashpalt would bounce at least two or three times intact although after that they definately shatter.

Fusion + fission = fussion?

Bob Scene, where can I get some?

Also, for everyone, why then does a steel ball (from a ball bearing) dropped on a stainless steel table not bounce at all? It’s actually quite impressive how it just goes ‘thunk’ and not even bounce a bit. It bounces on wood, or concrete, or just about any other surface.

Is there a statute of limitations on littering?

metalic glass is used in high end golf clubs, they use some sort of process to keep the metal from going into a crystalline pattern, the atoms are randomized or some such. Many cool applications to come. Has more bounce.

The force has to go somewhere. In rubber, it expends itself by reshaping the ball. Glass is very rigid, so unless it breaks, it has to go back up. If it breaks, all bets are off.

When I was a wee lad, I wanted clackers in the worst way. My mom, killjoy that she was, simply said no. No explanation that they were made out of glass was made to me until now.
“And I never knew until today, that it was Barsini all along…”

One time in college, we threw a beer bottle out of a fourth floor window onto the pavement - it didn’t seem like it bounced as high as a superball would, but it came up at least as high as the bottom of the second floor windows on the first bounce… and it managed not to shatter at all.