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Calculating Work

Introduction to the SI Unit for work and calculations using Work = Force × Distance

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Credit: David B. King
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/156073093/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

His name is Slapshot, and he’s the mascot of a hockey team. He’s named for the fastest moving object in any team sport. When a hockey player makes a slapshot, the puck may reach a speed greater than 100 miles an hour!

The Back Story

  • How can a hockey player cause the puck to move so fast? It takes a lot of skill. A slapshot is arguably the hardest shot to make in hockey. A skillful hockey player may not know it, but a slapshot also involves a lot of science.
  • Credit: davidgsteadman
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidgsteadman/4427538128/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    A player winds up for a slapshot [Figure2]

  • The slapshot is a good example of how work, energy, and power are related in physics. Watch this video to see how to make a slapshot and why it is so powerful: http://www.nbclearn.com/nhl/cuecard/56603

Can You Apply It?

With the link below, learn more about slapshots. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Briefly describe how a slapshot is made. Identify sources of kinetic and potential energy in the shot.
  2. When energy is transferred from the hockey stick, only some of the energy goes to the puck. What happens to the rest of the energy?
  3. What is the physics definition of work? How is work calculated? How would you calculate the amount of work done in a slapshot?
  4. What is the physics definition of power? How would you calculate the power of a slapshot? Why is the power of the slapshot so great?
  5. Slapshots are very fast, but there are trade-offs for all that power. What are two drawbacks of slapshots?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: David B. King; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/156073093/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: davidgsteadman; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidgsteadman/4427538128/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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