What happens when you blast everyday items with a dangerous ping pong ball cannon? Complete mayhem at the speed of sound. Just check out the YouTube video above (and don't try this at home).
In the video, Anthony Carboni and Tara Long -- hosts of the YouTube channel Hard Science -- constructed the cannon out of PVC pipe, ping pong balls, and a vacuum pump. Why ping pong balls?
"They have a very high amount of air resistance for their weight," Long says in the video.
After placing a ping pong ball inside the PVC pipe, the team sealed it to create an air-free environment. Then, breaking the seal and allowing air to rush in the pipe forced the ball out of the cannon at a whopping 340.29 meters per second, equivalent to the speed of sound. Lined up in the ball's crosshairs were some household items ready for destruction, including a diet coke can and a porcelain pig.
"We pop the seal at the back of the tube. Air rushes in at the speed of sound, and if our tube is long enough, hopefully the ping pong ball exits at the speed of sound as well," Carboni says in the video.
This isn't the first time a ping pong ball cannon has demonstrated incredible physics. In 2013, mechanical engineering and technology students at Purdue University built a cannon that shot ping pong balls at speeds so fast they broke the sound barrier. Wow.
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