When air is in rapid motion, its pressure is lowered. In this trick, the ping pong ball is actually imprisoned by the column of upward rushing air. As soon as it wobbles a bit to one side, the greater pressure outside the “jet stream” forces the ball back into it again.
When using the wiffle ball, air is capable of passing through the holes in the ball, causing the ball to lose pressure and begin to fall. Also, the wiffle ball is noticeably heavier than the ping pong ball. This increase in weight more difficult to overcome the force of gravity in order for the ball to float in the air.
Mess Kits are single-serving experiments that allow kids to explore scientific concepts at their own pace. Visitors are encouraged to complete as many as they want! See all Mess Kits.