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Helium Football vs.

Standard Football Velocity Andy Lee Rohan Mital January 7, 2013

Table of Contents: The Problem : Would a helium football have a greater velocity than a standard football? 1

Description of the Data:

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Diagram of the Experiment

Scatterplots and Residuals of the Collected Data

The Problem: The relationship that my partner and I explored involved examining and comparing the velocity of a standard football when being thrown as to a football that has been pumped with helium. The theory that stemmed from this interesting phenomenon is that a football filled with helium instead of regulation air will outdistance a standard football. The hang time of a helium football is said to outlast a regular football when thrown in the air. The reasoning for this notion is because helium gas has half the density of air, which in a general sense, would mean that the helium football would loosen its friction midair, allowing it to travel farther with longer time spent in the air. It is because of this reasoning that my partner and I were so eager to put the popular statement to the test as we set out to the school of Hollingworth to create our own experiment.

Description of Data: With the preconceived notion that a helium football will have a higher velocity than a standard football, the process of collecting our data began with gathering our supplies and choosing a location that would best fit to the demands of the experiment itself. Two brand new Spalding brand footballs were purchased as one football had regulation air pumped into it as the other received helium. The helium was pumped into the football with the use of a very thin needle attached to the nozzle of a helium tank. The location that the experiment took place in was at Hollingworth Elementary school. To properly execute the experiment, my partner and I went on a sunny day with wind currents minimized. The land was flat and consisted of just plain dirt so I could easily mark where the football lands. In terms of the design of the experiment, Rohan and I had a person outside the group to throw the footballs for us, my brother Alex Lee. Alex would position himself at point A and would have a running start to point B. Once he stopped at point B, he would release the football. The distance is measured and recorded from point B to where the football landed in the dirt field with a tape measure. The reasoning why the person throwing the football had a running start is because we wanted the runner to build momentum before throwing the football. The hang time of the football was recorded using a stopwatch that begins right after the football is released from the throwers hand to the moment it touched the ground. The procedure was replicated forty times, twenty times for the helium football and twenty times for the standard football.