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Why Does A Hockey Puck Slide?

Why Does A Hockey Puck Slide?

Hockey is one of the greatest sports on ice! The IndyFuel Hockey Experience opened on March 17 with the rest of the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience. Visitors can now learn about the history of hockey, including the legendary Wayne Gretzky! 

When it comes to the game, every roaring fan, every passionate player, they focus and follow one, single-inch thick piece of rubber: the puck! 

Players race from side to side hitting and passing and shooting that quick piece of rubber. But why does a hockey puck slide? 

Two Reasons



1. Ice has liquid on its surface - Say what?! You bet. Back in 1996, a Professor Gábor A. Somorjai at the University of Berkeley in California proved that, even in the coldest temperatures (say, -250 degrees), ice has a “quasi-fluid” layer about a molecule thick! This extremely-thin liquid layer makes ice slippery!

2. Friction - Friction is the force that takes place when one object slides against another. As one thing slides more quickly along the surface, heat is created. So, as hockey players push the puck along, friction causes the slightest warmth, melting the ice the tiniest bit and making it easier for the puck to slide. 

Which reason causes the most sliding is still being debated by scientists to this day! Until they come to a solid answer (heh), you can still put your hockey passion to the test at the IndyFuel Hockey Experience! 

Thanks for the tips from Ice Skating Resources and the NY Times

Looking for more Never Stop Asking "Why?" questions? Catch up on all of the past "Whys" on the blog!

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