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Hockey Sticks

I'm Jordan and recently I got a new CNT (that stands for Carbon Nanotube) hockey stick! My friend Nick and I had some questions about nanotubes so we decided to get some answers and find out: Do nanotubes really make a better hockey stick?

What did we do?
We went to the Boston Museum of Science to talk to nano-expert about all things nano. Tim explained that when carbon atoms come together they can form a honeycomb shape and when those honeycombs are rolled up they form a nanotube. Once we had learned what a nanotube was we decided to test my hockey stick against a wooden hockey stick and a composite hockey stick to see which of the three was faster. Then we went to Harvard University where Joe was able to help us test the strength of all three kinds of hockey sticks.

What did we find out?
The CNT hockey stick had the fastest slap-shot of all three clocking in at 45 miles per hour. When we tested the strength of the CNT hockey stick it appeared to be the weakest, breaking under 1422 pounds of force, but, when we took the weight of each of the sticks into account it turned out that the CNT hockey stick was actually as strong as the wood stick for its weight.

What can you do?
  • Place 2 cups upside down. Take 2 Post-it notes and lay them directly on top of each other to make a bridge between the cups. Place pennies one at a time on the bridge. How many can it hold before it falls? Now try this. Use a pencil to help roll each Post-it into a tube (secure it closed with the sticky end). Make a bridge across the cups with the 2 tubes and place pennies again. Which structure is stronger?
  • Some hockey sticks are composites that contain carbon nanotubes to make them stronger. Make your own composite! Pour 1 cup of water into a blender and add some toilet paper, sheet by sheet. Pour this into a yogurt lid. Pour just plain water into another yogurt lid. Freeze both. Which disk is stronger, the ice alone or the ice and toilet paper composite?
  • Does anyone you know own a carbon nanotube baseball bat, golf club, tennis racket or other sports equipment? If so, design your own experiment to test if it works any better than the "old-fashioned" stuff.
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