Mark French, a professor at Purdue University, created this cannon that’ll accelerate a fragile ping-pong ball up to Mach 1.2–that’s 900mph. This video goes into some nice physics-y depth about the logistics of getting a thin sphere of plastic up to that speed, and then the payoff at the end is just great. Turns out a 900mph ping-pong ball blasts clear through a paddle. [YouTube via Gizmodo]
Watch A Ping-Pong Ball Break The Sound Barrier, And Then A Ping-Pong Paddle
Curious about what a 900mph ping-pong ball does to a piece of wood? The answer is here.