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Physics of Ice Hockey

Newtons Law's of Motion
Newton's Laws of Motion

Sir Issac Newton has three laws of motion that define physics. The first law of motion states that an object at rest will remain at rest, and an object in motion will remain in motion until acted upon a force. This is put into play when a player is skating. The player would keep going, but that would only break the laws of physcics. Friction acts upons the skates, causing them to slow down and then sooner or later stop. Newton's First Law also works when two players collide. They would keep going, but when they hit each other, they stop and either fall or change directions.

Newton's Second Law of Motion explains the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration. Force equals mass times acceleration. When one player check another, the force that the player gets hit with is the product of the other player's acceleration and mass. If a player was not moving at a high speed and didn't hit with a hard force, the check wouldn't hurt too much, but if the player was skating at full speed, the player who got hit would not be in very good shape. This works the same way with a puck. If a player hits the puck with not a lot of force, the puck won't accelerate as much as it would if it were hit a lot more force.

Newton's Third Law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When a player skates, the blades push against the ice, and the ice pushes back up against the skates. This law also occurs when a player shoots the puck really hard and it bounces off the goalie. If the shot was hard enough, the goalie could potentially lose balance due to the shot, displaying Newton's Third Law of Motion. This law is also used in hockey as a set play. Now days, the boards in the NHL are very active. Some players will purposly miss the net but fire a rocket of a shot so that it would bank off of the boards behind the goalie and come out infront of the goal crease, so the player could have a perfect shot at the unaware goalie.

Newton's First Law
The player in red will remain at rest untill acted upon by a force.

Newton's Second Law
The goalie was not accelerating, so the force the player was hit with was only the goalie's mass.

Newton's Second Law
The player in black had more acceleration thus he hit with a greater amount of force.

Newton's Third Law
Newton's Thrid Law explains how people can skate.