Peer Review for material titled "How the ball bounces"
eTextbook Reviews for material titled "How the ball bounces"
User Rating for material titled "How the ball bounces"
Member Comments for material titled "How the ball bounces"
Bookmark Collections for material titled "How the ball bounces"
Course ePortfolios for material titled "How the ball bounces"
Learning Exercises for material titled "How the ball bounces"
Accessibility Info for material titled "How the ball bounces"
Please enter a Bookmark title
Please limit Bookmark title to 65 characters
Please enter a description
Please limit Bookmark title to 4000 characters
A Bookmark with this title already existed.
Please limit a note about this material to 2048 characters
Search all MERLOT
Select to go to your profile
Select to go to your workspace
Select to go to your Dashboard Report
Select to go to your Content Builder
Select to log out
Search Terms
Enter username
Enter password
Please give at least one keyword of at least three characters for the search to work with. The more keywords you give, the better the search will work for you.
Select OK to launch help window
Cancel help


Advanced Search


Search > Material Results >

How the ball bounces


How the ball bounces

Logo for How the ball bounces
An animation portraying the mathematics of a bouncing ball
Go to material
Material Type: Animation
Technical Format: Java Applet
CAUTION: Java Applets may not run on all browsers
Date Added to MERLOT: June 13, 2002
Date Modified in MERLOT: April 20, 2015
Send email to
Submitter: Kurt Cogswell
Keywords: math project, quadratic function, math modeling


  • Rate this material
  • Create a learning exercise
  • Add accessibility information
  • Pick a Bookmark Collection or Course ePortfolio to put this material in or scroll to the bottom to create a new Bookmark Collection
    Name the Bookmark Collection to represent the materials you will add
    Describe the Bookmark Collection so other MERLOT users will know what it contains and if it has value for their work or teaching. Other users can copy your Bookmark Collection to their own profile and modify it to save time.
    Edit the information about the material in this {0}
    Submitting Bookmarks...


Primary Audience: High School, College General Ed
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Technical Requirements: Java-enable browser
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


QR Code for this Page

Users who viewed this material also viewed...


Discussion for How the ball bounces

Log in to participate in the discussions or Sign up if you are not already a MERLOT member.

Avatar for derek velez
7 years ago

derek velez (Student)

i enjoyed the whole visualization portion of the problem and understood what was asked...the problem was i dont know what all the symbols and other types of things were. Its visualizations and animations such as these that actually get me more interested in the problem rather than conventional teaching.
Time spent reviewing site: about 20 min

Avatar for Linda Dau
7 years ago

Linda Dau (Student)

The materials seem interesting but, I don't understand how this is helpful in the real world.Overall, I thought this topic was boring and useless.The content was good and easy to understand,to whomever wants to use it.Who ever wants to learn this, it would be helpful for them.The materials that were being used in here was very well organized and explained.
Time spent reviewing site: 1hr.

Avatar for anthony blehblah
7 years ago

anthony blehblah (Student)

I'm not to familiar with the mathematical terms they had offered. But reading them, I understood when the animation gave me a visualization. I could follow it, without being confused. It was accurate enough for me a first time user, to understand the basic meaning of it. This would be very helpful to students and teachers, it could teach them a lot and benefit them.It never seemed hard for me to understand, this site just offered a easy way to learn. This site was made for first time users,everything is there and its so simple.

Technical Remarks:

It was interesting to read, and follow along on the animation.
Time spent reviewing site: 2 hours 5 minutes.

Avatar for Jonathan Murphy
7 years ago

Jonathan Murphy

I thought that this was a good site because it has a lot of pictures and graphs for those people who learn on a visual level. The animation is particularly useful because it let's you see how the activity is applied in real time.

Technical Remarks:

I was surprised that for a website that uses animation there were no time lags and the load time was quick. The topics were organized in a neat manner as well.
Time spent reviewing site: I spent twenty minutes looking at the different images.

Avatar for Gremar Peralta
8 years ago

Gremar Peralta (Student)

a) I basically searched around because it was interesting to me that it was a JAVA applet which illustrated a mathematical analyst of the bouncing of a ball. Other than that I was observing it more and more to figure out what mathematical terms does it relate to. b) The quality of the content is good because of the graphics and the design of the demonstration of the ball. What caught my attention was the timer or the clock which was used during the demonstration. c) The effectiveness for teaching is pretty good because the material can be used by an instructor to enrich a lecture or can be assigned to students for individual perusal. It may be used to enhance students' understanding of functions. The height of the bouncing ball, plotted against time, is a series of parabolas. This gives a nice and natural example of a function that analytically must be defined piece-wise. d) Using this material was easy because the JAVA applet was self-explanatory and easy to follow. Very good tool for graphic functions and can be used in the category of Calculus.
Used in course

Avatar for Farah Tala
8 years ago

Farah Tala (Student)

I spent about 20 minutes reviewing the different animation regarding "How the Ball Bounces". The quality of the animation was good. The animation showed a ball bouncing with a chart that displayed time, height, and velocity. This representation was then used to show how the values correspond to algebra. I believe the visual element of animation would provide as an effective tool in learning. By connecting the numbers to each bounce of the ball a better understanding can be achieved. The ease of viewing the computer animation cannot be understated. Great visual site.

Avatar for Thuy Nguyen
8 years ago

Thuy Nguyen (Student)

the videos ilusstrating for the problems are in good quality.

Technical Remarks:

Although it is the matter of Calculus, I find it exciting and amusing. I spent 30 minutes thinking about this problem. I have never though about Mathematics applied in a bouncing ball. With a bouncing ball, people can find the motion equations: one of position, and the other of velocity. Moreover, it is a kind of applied Math in Physics problem: Falling the ball to find the position, velocity, and acceleration, right? I studied all these stuffs in high school, but they have been unreachable for me since then. Now, I understand a little bit. It is a good new, is it not???

Avatar for feifei sun
9 years ago

feifei sun (Student)

This animation reminds me the same expriement we did in Astronamy class. The bouncing ball is gradualy slow down, and a stright line finally shows up due to the gravity of the earth. However, if it were in space, then this movement will go forever.

Avatar for Sheila Morgan
12 years ago

Sheila Morgan (Student)

. How you reviewed the materials (Did you spend 5 minutes browsing, 2 hours
trying it, or actually use it in teaching-learning activities?).

I spent about 15 mins. at this website and then something happened and my
computer crashed.

2. The quality of content (Does the materials accurately present concepts and
models that are educationally significant?)

I found the website to be fun. It is a great visual tool. It will help those
who learn by doing or learn by seeing.

3. The potential effectiveness for enhancing teaching and learning (If used
appropriately, will students' learning and faculty's teaching be enhanced?) It
defintely a effective learning tool for both teacher and student. I really was
having fun with this one and I got to see the graph being made as the ball was

4. The ease of using the materials (Will first time users find it easy to use
the software?)

It was quite easy to use until my computer locked up at this site.

It really is a fun site.
Used in course

Avatar for Chris Cooper
13 years ago

Chris Cooper (Student)

I spent about 5min browsing. This site is a great tool if you are more of a
visual learner like myself. The content is great especially the animation where
you can actually see how the ball bounces. It seems to be pretty easy to use,
but I was wondering if you can customize the models in accordance with a real
world setting? it would be intersting to see how a ball bounces within the
context of sports like basketball, baseball,ect.
Used in course

Avatar for Robert Olson
13 years ago

Robert Olson (Student)

As a math student I found this program to be very interesting, especially
becasue I remember being frustrated by "ball bouncing" problems in my calculus
classes. This program Really gives you a realistic real world view of the
physics of the bouncing ball.

Technical Remarks:

I Found the controls at the bottom of the screen hard to understand and use.
Can you speed up the ball? I didn't understand how to manipulate the motion of
the ball. A good addition to this program would be a way to add in your own ball
bouncing equation so you could actually try the problems given as homework
Used in course

Avatar for s lyman
14 years ago

s lyman (Student)

I spend 5 min exploring the material of this site and I thought that it was a
very good site to go to for children in the 3ed or 4th grade it was very easy to
understand how the ball bounces over the per of time and distance it was easy
to teach and learn from the marital I thought that the site hade a lovely
graphic in it took it one step at a time by showing just with the ball at first
and then with the graph lines