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I think you're referring to the funnel apparatus where the large end of the funnel is pointed down. The funnel itself is just a little larger than the ping-pong ball. Air is blown through the funnel downward towards the ping-pong ball, but the ball doesn't drop. Instead it is held fast inside the funnel.

The explanation lies with the Bernoulli Principle. This principle states that along any streamline of air (a streamline is the path that an air molecule takes), if the velocity of the air drops then the static pressure at that point will rise, and vice-versa. So what happens with the funnel and ping-pong ball is that the air coming out of the funnel has to flow around the ball and therefore it becomes constricted against the sides of the funnel. It doesn't have much room to get by, in other words. That means it has to flow faster over the top of the ball. Faster = lower pressure. When it gets by the ball and expands in the funnel, it slows down. Slower = higher pressure. This pressure difference (high pressure below, low pressure above) is what keeps the ball suspended in the funnel.

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14y ago
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13y ago

Blow horizontally across the top. Trust me I just saw it done.

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Q: How does blowing air through a funnel pick up a ping-pong ball?
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