Slap Shot Science: A Curious Fan's Guide to Hockey

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JHU Press, Nov 30, 2015 - Mathematics - 176 pages

A fast-paced look at the fascinating science that explains the game of hockey.

From the moment the first player steps onto the ice, every conceivable principle of science is in play. To understand hockey—fully understand it—Alain Haché argues that you must first learn how ice reacts to a passing blade, how the trajectory and aerodynamics of the puck affect its chances of getting into the net, how the tension on the stick transfers energy to the puck, and dozens of other details of the game.

Slap Shot Science is an under-the-hood, behind-the-scenes, action-packed romp through special moments in the game as seen from the perspective of science and explained in a way everyone can understand. Among the topics Haché discusses are the differences between real ice and synthetic ice, the perfect amount of sharpness for a skate, how goalies can make spectacular saves even though the puck is traveling 100 miles per hour, whether players are skating faster today than in years past, and how equipment prevents many serious injuries.

Slap Shot Science shows us how statistics can predict future performance by players and teams and why they can also be misused in many ways. By the close of the book you’ll see hockey in a more sophisticated and scientific light, and the reasons things happen the way they do will be clearer than ever.


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About the author (2015)

Alain Haché is a professor of physics and astronomy at the Université de Moncton. He is the author of The Physics of Hockey.

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