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Dropping a HUGE Putty Ball

Dropping a HUGE Putty Ball

What happens when you drop a HUGE Putty Ball?

I had always planned on performing this experiment myself. To make a 100 lb ball of Thinking Putty and drop it from on high. I was always curious to see what would happen...and to experience the magnitude of the event (and the 'thud') myself.

Well, Crazy Aaron can't be the first at everything. Here are two different putty ball drops for your enjoyment.

The 100 lb putty ball drop at Alfred University in 1989 was the first to be recorded for posterity. A number of other individuals claim to be the first, but they can offer no documentary evidence of the event.

Can't see the video above? Check it out on YouTube!

Also check out this giant putty drop WE did on Steve and Preston's Science Day radio show!

Can't see the video above? Check it out on YouTube!

So, what is happening to the putty when it hits the ground? The force of the impact quite similar to the effect of hitting the blob with a hammer. Of course, here, the hammer stays still (the ground) and the putty moves towards it (fast!).

The force of impact breaks the bonds between putty molecules. These breaks occur along fractures inside the ball, cracking it into large chunks. The momentum from the impact that wasn't used in cracking the putty, transfers to all the remaining pieces and so they fly all over the place.

Pretty cool, huh! Let's watch that video again...

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