Ice hockey can be an exciting sport. The hockey puck can careen down the ice at speeds greater than 100 miles per hour! The players can also skate at very high speeds over the ice—at least they can if the ice is “fast”.
The Back Story
- That’s where hockey ice technicians come in. The ice tech is responsible for keeping the ice in tip-top shape so the players can perform at their best.
- Good ice starts with very pure water, so professional hockey rinks have machines to remove any contaminants from the water.
- Knowledge of the physical properties of water is also important, including its freezing point and density.
- Watch this video to learn more about the role of ice and ice techs in professional hockey:
Can You Apply It?
At the link below, learn more about water, ice, and hockey rinks. Then answer the following questions.
1. Why is water a unique substance? What are some of its unusual physical properties?
[Water exists in three states within a narrow range of temperatures. It also expands to a larger volume when it freezes, so ice is less dense than liquid water.]
2. Super-cold water circulates in pipes beneath the concrete floor of a hockey rink. How is this water kept very cold without freezing?
[Salt is added to the water to lower its freezing point.]
3. How would you calculate the volume of ice in a hockey rink?
[You would multiply the length of the ice by its width and thickness.]
4. What is mass?
[Mass is a measure of how much of something there is, or the amount of particles that make up an object.]
5. What is density? Does it vary for a given substance? How can density be calculated?
[Density is how much mass exists in a given volume. It is always the same for a given substance. Density can be calculated by dividing the mass of a substance by its volume.]
6. If you know the density and volume of a substance, what formula could you use to calculate its mass?
[You could use the formula .]
7. The density of ice is . If the volume of ice in a hockey rink is , what is the mass of the ice?
[The mass of the ice is , or about 40,000 kg.]
8. What is the difference between “fast” ice and “slow” ice in hockey? What determines whether ice is “fast” or “slow”?
[“Fast” ice is denser and harder than “slow” ice, so it lets players skate faster. Whether ice is “fast” or “slow” is determined by its temperature.]