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The physics of hockey (well some of it)



So back before I injured my knee I used to play hockey. I loved the sport and I was pretty good at it, nothing great but pretty good. I did however have quite the slap shot. At a camp they measured how fast using a speedometer. It clocked in at 86 miles per hour, which wasn’t too shabby for being in 8th grade. Now let’s find the acceleration of the puck.

Saying that the puck stays flat on the ice for the whole distance (20m) traveled and neglecting friction and saying it takes 3 seconds to reach the net we know:

Vi: 5m/s

Vf: 86 mph or 38.4 m/s

D: 20m

A: ?

T: 3 s

We can use the equation:

a= v/t

a= 35.4/3s

a=11.8 m/s

The slap shot encompasses many parts of physics; the stick has potential energy as it flexes back as well as kinetic energy from being swung forward, the mass of the player helping accelerate the puck in a quicker time.


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