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Soccer Physics



Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and involves lots of physics. Just to keep it simple I will stick with newtons 1st and 2nd laws. Newtons first law states “any object at rest, will tend to stay at rest, and any object in motion, will tend to stay in motion unless acted on by an unbalanced force.†An unbalanced force can be gravity or wind. In soccer however, this unbalance force is usually the soccer player’s foot. He or she will use their muscles in the body to create a force to move their leg and kick the ball. Because the ball is at rest, it will continue to stay at rest. But once kicked, it will keep moving in a straight line without any intent of stopping. The reason the ball will stop is because of friction and Earth’s gravitational pull. Newtons second law states “The change in velocity with which an object moves is directly proportional to the magnitude of the force applied to the object and inversely proportional to the mass of the object.†This can be explained by the equation Force = mass*acceleration > F=ma. The acceleration of the ball is determined by the force applied divided by the mass of the object that is being moved. This means that if the ball has a lot of mass, it will require more force to accelerate. If the ball has little mass, it will require little force. During a soccer game, it is important to know this law because if you want the ball to be moving fast, you must apply more force. If you want the ball to move just a little bit, then just apply less or a smaller force.


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