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The Physics of Skyrim

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In the massive open world game, Skyrim, players can choose to either be a mage, archer, or my personal favorite, a knight. The knight wields a sword as his weapon of choice, and this forces players to get in close when fighting enemies. The effectiveness of the sword is often taken for granted however, and most people never think of the ingenious design and physical properties of swords. Medieval swords like the ones you use in Skyrim have long blades that are thick in the middle but taper off into sharp edges on 2 sides. The long blade allows for a much more powerful hit, but is also heavier. Because of the additional weight long-swords are two handed weapons in Skyrim, so they take much longer to swing than one handed weapons. This is the trade off between a short blade and a long blade. Additionally, the sharp edges on each side act as two wedges, that when struck against skin or wood will split the material by exerting an outward force. This can be seen in the diagram below along with an image of a sword.



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The sword seems like an obvious weapon of choice because of its sharp edges and the outward force that it applies. What are the other available weapons?

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