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Physics of Mushing

Momentum is very apparent in observing dog sled racing. Momentum is the mass multiplied by the velocity. Thus, the momentum of the entire sledding unit depends on the mass of the dogs and the velocity at which they travel. A sledding unit with a greater momentum is more difficult to stop than one with a lesser momentum. For instance, if the dogs of a sledding unit with a 3,430-lb man are traveling at a velocity of 40 miles/hour and suddenly halt to a complete stop without decelerating, the sled and the man would continue to travel forward, crashing into the dogs. However, if a 90-lb boy was in the same situation, the impact of the crash wouldn't be as great. Also, if the dogs were traveling at a lesser speed, the impact of the crash between the musher and the dogs wouldn't be as great as it would have been had the dogs been traveling at a greater speed.


M&M: Mushing and Momentum

**Please note, it may be difficult to accelerate a 3,430-lb man with only four dogs. If this is the case, please consider using a snowmobile.**