Physics of Soccer

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For my topic I chose to explain some of the physics involved in the sport of soccer. I chose soccer because I have played it my whole life and it is one of my favorite sports. I thought it would be interesting to learn about some of the physics involved in something that I do almost everyday and has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember.

My poster depicts the physics involved in kicking, the ball rolling across the field, and bending the ball. Kicking a soccer ball involves transferring kinetic energy, or movement, from your leg to the ball. The energy you apply into the ball combines with the stored energy already present combining to create a velocity that is even faster than the object that hit it (your leg). Factors such as initial velocity of the ball (if it wasn’t stopped) and air resistance as well as the speed at which your leg hits the ball all also contribute to the velocity of the ball. As the ball rolls down the field its momentum is slowed by opposite forces acting on it called friction. The longer the grass on the field that you are playing, the greater the friction will be. This is why grass is kept short on soccer fields, to reduce the interference friction has on the speed at which the ball moves. Bending the ball involves many different factors and physics concepts. As you kick the ball slightly off center you create a horizontal spin. This causes the air on one side of the ball to move more quickly than the other. The side with the faster moving air has less pressure than the side with the slower moving air causing the ball to bend. While there were many concepts and topics involved in the sport of soccer I chose my favorites and the ones I found most interesting. I especially like the explanation of why the ball bends when you hit it a certain way because that is one of my favorite things to do.
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