It has come to our attention that the New England Patriots coach has given a scientific explanation for why the Patriots’ footballs were 2 pounds per square inch (PSI) underinflated. He said that the footballs were naturally underinflated because of the cold weather.
We experimented to see if the cold weather had something to do with the underinflated footballs. We got a new football and we pumped it up to 12.5 PSI. The room temperature was 62 degrees Fahrenheit when we pumped up the football. We put the football in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The temperature in the fridge was 33 degrees.
The difference in temperatures was a little higher in our experiment than the difference in temperature at the Patriots’ football game. The amount of pressure that deflated from our football was 2 PSI. It appears that the Patriots’ coach is correct.
Just like car tires, when it’s cold, the molecules of air in the tires come together and the pressure gets lower.
Xavier Barajas, Runthan Prak, Candy Palma Montano and Melanie Perez
6th grade scientists, Yokomi Elementary