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Question
I want to place a tennis ball upon the end of a 2' x 1" piece of material and then bend it in order to project the ball for my dog.

What substance or composition material would give me the most spring power ?

Thanks,
Ron

Answer
I'm not an engineer, this is probably better suited to them. You don't want something that will wear out, assuming multiple flexings.  I would say something like a piece of fiberglass (since they make diving boards out of it), but if you want something more durable and fancy then you need some carbon fiber composite (available on the internet).  It's not hard to cut fiberglass to the right shape or to form pre-made carbon fiber composite to the shape you want.  Getting the stiffness right will require some experimentation.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

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Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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