Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Physics of Power Soccer

I wrote a few days ago asking why a mid-wheel drive wheelchair would have more problems generating power on a spin shot than a rear-wheel drive chair would. However, as I thought about this I knew the answer had to be physics related as my friends Ben and Evan pointed out. So, jumping off of what they gave me, I decided to do a little research of my own through the little I remember from physics to see why my chair seemingly has a disadvantage while spinning.

So, speed is obviously a factor. However, being that this is turn speed, we need to use the equation for angular velocity which is 2π/T where T is the period in seconds. However, all this proves is how many radians per second you are turning. Therefore, we need to multiply this by the radius of rotation to get the most actual velocity. So, the entire equation turns out to be v= (2πR) ÷ T where v is the speed, R is the turn radius, and T is the time period needed to rotate. Therefore, there are two ways to increase the velocity; either you need to increase your turn radius or decrease the time it takes to make that turn. Ideally, if you could increase the radius as well as decrease the time you make the most gains.

This is not the answer that satisfies me because I spin just as quickly as the rear wheel drive chairs. Therefore, I believe that the radius has the largest effect on shot power. The distance between them my rotational axis and the front of my guard is much less than that of a rear wheel drive chair. There is no way I can fix this in my current chair, but it is nice to know that there might be some rational reason as to why I cannot hit the ball quite as hard.

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