The magic of physics can turn the mundane into something marvelous. Mark French, a mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University, designed a supersonic air-powered ping-pong ball cannon that shoots the lightweight object at speeds so fast I would consider the device a lethal weapon of science.
A ping-pong ball reportedly blasts out of the special cannon at speeds equivalent to Mach 1.23 -- nearly as fast as an F-16 fighter jet. As evidenced in the video below, the high-speed ball can put a clean hole through a plywood paddle, a VHS tape, and other objects. The amount of energy delivered by the Mach-speed ping-pong ball equals the force of a baseball thrown at 125 mph or a brick falling from several stories up.… Read more