The Physics of Hockey Essays

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The Physics of Hockey

Physics is everywhere. Consequently, physics is a part of sports and more specifically, hockey. As the scientific discoveries progressed with time, so did the advancements in the sport of hockey, reflecting on how important and influential science truly is. Physics takes part in the ice, the skates, the protective gear, the shots, goaltending, and all other aspects of ice hockey. Skates used to be more like skis. Players glided on the ice rather than actually skated. Artifacts also show the use of animal bones as skate blades as well. Currently, steal blades are used. There is a small arc groove on the blade that provides the friction needed to counteract the slipperiness of the ice (Haché 37). The
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This does not mean that there is more heat but rather heat is applied more quickly (Haché 24).

The most basic and necessary skill in hockey is skating. Skating is made possible thanks to Newton’s Third Law. With every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The blade applies force on the ice and the ice pushes back on the blade causing a forward movement. To accelerate, players exert a strong force on the lower part of their bodies by leaning forward. “Gravity pulls down on a hockey player's center of mass which ‘torques’ him forward” (Exploratorium 1). Skaters also skate and accelerate while turning. Centripetal force enables the player to lean inward and create a sharp turn (Haché 50).

Acceleration is negative for a braking skater and is determined by the friction force on the skate blade. To achieve this, the skater turns their skates perpendicular to the direction of motion and digs the blade into the ice, creating the greatest resistive force. The blade scrapes a layer of ice off the surface and the player comes to a stop (Exploratorium 1).

Another large part of the sport is the physical contact. Hockey can turn into a brutal game with 220 pound men checking each other left and right. Because these men have large masses and fast velocities, they have a lot of kinetic energy. The energy of each player before the collision is K = ½ mv2 and afterward (because their collisions are inelastic) their total energy = ½

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