How to reduce the amount of air in a football without letting any air out

Watts Up With That?

Ron Gronkowski

Guest post by Alec Rawls

Just fill the ball with warm humid indoor air, then when it temperature-equalizes with the 25°F cooler outdoor air on your AFC Championship playing field some of the water vapor in the ball will condense into water, leaving less air in the ball, solving the great mystery: how did the footballs used by the Championship winning New England Patriots show 12.5 psi of inflation pressure in the official pre-game check but only 10.5 psi when checked at halftime?

There is also a decrease in pressure due to the cooling of the molecules that remain gaseous. Those air molecules are not zipping around as fast as they were so they exert less outward pressure on the ball. But according to the ideal gas law, if there were no reduction in the number of gas molecules in the balls it would have taken a large drop…

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