As a child, there many wonderful memories that come associated with trampolines, and for some rebounders.  Do you remember bouncing up and down on the giant surface of your trampoline, or the small and compact rebounder surface, feeling the wind flow through your hair and fingers?


As a child may have never considered it, but have you ever wondered how a trampoline can shoot you up so high into the air?  Did you ever wonder how you could get up so high into the air while playing crack the egg (and sometimes wonder if you would make it down in one piece?)?


Well the science behind trampolines is not too difficult to understand, at least if you were able to pass your high school physics class, as it borrows from many ideas in order to create that necessary lift to send you sailing through the air.  Rebounders work on the same general concept as well.


The trampoline itself is made from a metal frame, with numerous steel coiled springs that attach it to the bounce mat, which itself is not elastic, but made from a waterproof canvas, or woven polypropylene material.  They are now producing spring free trampolines which replaces springs with cantilevered pultruded fiberglass rods to provide the rebounding force.


When you jump of a trampoline you are pushing down on the fabric, which pulls on the strings or the elastic cords.  This causes the cords to stretch out and store energy, when the cords snap back, all that energy that you had stored in your jump, pushing down onto the mat.  As the fiber snaps back into place, it sends you flying into the air.


The harder you push down on the trampoline the more energy is stored, the more powerful the snap back will be that will send you soaring through the air.  So the higher you get, the more powerful your next jump will be.


On a more scientific level, your total energy is equal to your kinetic energy plus your potential energy.  When you jump on a trampoline you are losing velocity in kinetic energy and gaining potential energy.  The total amount of energy used is equal to the kinetic energy plus the potential energy.


Jumping on a trampoline is fun, and involves many different forces acting in harmony with each other to produce a fun way to pass your time or, on a rebounder, a great way to stay in shape.  Now you know the science behind bouncing.

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