Join SPS for our Fall Virtual Colloquium Series! Dr. Daniel Russell, Pennsylvania State University, will be giving a talk titled, "The Acoustics of Ping-Pong: A Vibroacoustic Analysis of Table Tennis Rackets and Balls" on Wednesday, September 23 at 3:30 PM ET. We hope to see you there!
In this seminar, I’ll explain how ping-pong paddles and balls vibrate to create the sounds resulting from the impact between paddle and ball. Experimental Modal Analysis will reveal how the paddle vibrates with structural mode shapes resembling those of an elliptical plate, and will identify which modes most strongly contribute to the impact sound. The vibrational modes of the ball (a thin-walled hollow spherical shell) will be explored through theory, computer models and experimental data, and with some surprises about the ball’s contribution to the impact sound. And, I’ll put this research in the context of how sound and vibration influence the perception of quality in the hands of a player, something which is common to many other sports using hand-held equipment. As part of this talk, I’ll also mention a few of the many career paths in the field of Acoustics that are easily accessible to undergraduate students with a physics background.
Dr. Dan Russell is a Teaching Professor of Acoustics in the Graduate Program in Acoustics at Penn State. His undergraduate degrees in physics and music led him to a Ph.D. in Acoustics and a career as an educator in the fields of physics and acoustics (sound and vibration). He taught undergraduate physics at Kettering University for 16 years, and has been teaching graduate level acoustics at Penn State since 2011. Dan’s research focuses on the structural acoustics and vibration of sports equipment (baseball bats, hockey sticks, golf clubs, etc.) and acoustics education (you may have seen animations from his website: https;//www.acs.psu.e