Physics of Soccer

Topics: Friction, Force, Association football Pages: 4 (1579 words) Published: June 25, 2012
The Physics Of Soccer
Soccer is a sport that’s very challenging and during the course I’ve found physics can also be described as challenging. As far as I was concerned soccer and physics were both challenging and that was all they had in common, consequently upon researching them both this I found that I was wrong. For me this was nothing new because I’ve found that physics isn’t a subject that can be skimmed, but rather it has to be studied to the finest detail. Those small details if missed can make all your efforts worthless. Or on the positive side understanding those details can make your efforts worth it in the end. And in soccer if you understand the physics, which to most players would be considered as the small details, it pays off in the end. So really how does physics come into play with soccer?

How and where you kick the ball is the most important aspect within the game of soccer. Let’s say you kick the ball perfectly giving it no rotation (or spin); this means that you have given the ball a velocity (v) and an initial angular speed of zero. When the ball comes into contact with the ground it will begin to spin because the ground is not frictionless. The soccer ball will eventually begin to roll without slipping, which is when the balls center of mass is equal to its angular speed. Now assume that you want to strike the ball so that it immediately begins to roll without slipping. The diagram above shows us how we can accomplish this and the equation of s=R (theta) will give us the distance from the center of the ball that you need to kick. The answer to this problem turns out to be s=0.4R, so you would strike the ball a little less than half of the radius above the center line.

Friction is a huge factor when considering the game of soccer. When a soccer ball is moving along the field there is constantly a frictional force working in the opposite direction of the balls movement. There is an equation that can be used to find the friction force...
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