Hockey Headlines

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Want More Puck?

There is no end to the madness found on YouTube. As we saw last week, I posted a video brought to us by CarsandWater that showed the amateur Mythbusters using a red-hot ball of nickel to try and destroy a hockey puck. Well, the minds behind the CarsandWater are back, but they are going in the opposite direction with their love of hockey puck destruction this time. If heat won't destroy a puck, will cold do it? Let's find out!

I will admit that the moment I found this video that I had immediate reservations. Pucks are frozen before games and rarely do we see them break. I have seen a puck split in half when playing outdoors in extreme temperatures, though, so when the idea of liquid nitrogen was brought forth I figured this may have some legs. However, we'll have to see how the experiments fare in this video.

The experiment is simple: super-cool a hockey puck using liquid nitrogen and then drop an 83.5-pound weight on it to see if it breaks. Pretty simple, right? Let's go to the video!
The first attempt didn't go so well, and it was most likely due to the fact that only half the puck was immersed in the liquid nitrogen. Super-cooling only half the puck would cause the puck to explode as it did within the glass because half the puck's molecules were contracting at a rapid rate while the other half wasn't. Physics says that something's gotta give, so the puck's molecular structure breaks under the stress.

As you can see in attempt #2, putting the entire puck into the liquid nitrogen causes no explosion of the puck as there isn't this massive internal conflict between the molecular structure of the puck. The result is that the amateur scientist in the video gets a super-cooled puck! And, as you witnessed in the video, neither being on edge nor being flat affected the puck's structural integrity when the weight was dropped on it.

While there aren't many things in this world that are indestructible, you can feel safe while watching a hockey game in knowing that the puck won't fly apart if it clangs off a post or hits the glass. Kudos to Charles Goodyear, the inventor of vulcanized rubber!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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