19 Astonishing Facts

# A glass ball will bounce higher than a rubber ball, provided that it does not break.

It all goes back to how much energy is lost or retained by the ball you are bouncing. The more energy gets lost to the surface you are bouncing on, the less bouncy your ball will be. If the ball is able to retain that energy, it will bounce higher.

You can test how bouncy your glass is at home. Tap a glass with a spoon and it will vibrate and maybe even make a ringing sound for a while. How long it keeps ringing tells you how long it retains the energy applied to it before it dissipates, which should give you an idea of how bouncy it will be. If you had a glass made out of rubber (and I don't why you would) you could imagine it wouldn't make sound or vibrate for very long at all after being struck. That's because rubber loses energy very quickly.

Of course, the advantage that a glass ball has over a rubber one in bounceability is quickly lost when bouncing from heights greater than a few millimeters. That is because when you bounce an item, it deforms on impact. Rubber is able to quickly reform to its original shape after impact. Glass, on the other hand, usually just shatters.

Check out the University of Illinois physics department for more answers to obscure physics questions like this one.