Physics Of Ice Skating Essay

1354 words - 6 pages

Many everyday activities, and sports involve physics. During the Olympics, you saw the graceful performance done by the figure skaters. Figure skating involves a lot of physics. These principles include friction, momentum, and Newton’s Third Law. These core principles plays a big impact on the performance of figure skaters. Before understanding the physics of the ice skater’s motion, the first thing to comprehend is the skates itself.
The major parts of figure skates are the boot itself, and the blade. A figure skater performs a spin by rotating the blade backwards as the skater spins on a fixed point. This fixed point, is also known as the balls of their feet. The skater also has the toe ...view middle of the document...

This law is also known as the law of inertia. It states that any object stays in motion, unless acted on by a force. Considering the ice has a small fraction of friction, and the skater can easily glide on the ice without being stopped, the skater will stay in motion unless he/she stops himself/herself. It is important that there is friction on ice because if it was frictionless, figure skating would be impossible. It would be impossible because it is the friction between the skates and the ice, that starts the motion. Also, friction is what allows the skater to stop.
Again, Newton’s laws come into play when explaining the physics of figure skating. Newton’s Third Law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The force applied by the ice skater on the ground reflects back an equal and opposite force. When the ice skater pushes down onto the ice, the same force pushes the skater.
Momentum is how much force needed to stop an object that is in motion. Basically, the heavier the object is the more momentum it has, and the harder it is stop. Momentum is usually always conserved, and constant,unless an outside force enters the system. Angular momentum is the product of the moment of inertia of a body about an axis and its angular velocity with respect to the same axis. Angular momentum applies to ice skating and this important concept carries over to more complicated systems,including the rotation of the ice skater’s body. The formula for angular moment stands as:
L = I . Since momentum is conserved if a factor were to change, for example, I then w would need to compensate to keep the balance.A spinning skater depends on the speed of rotation, and the weight distribution of mass around the center. This concept explains why when a figure skater tucks their arms in when performing a turn, spins quicker because the distribution and distance is reduced between the axis of rotation and some of her mass, reducing her moment of inertia. This means that they have to speed up in order to counteract the difference, and keep the total momentum constant. When the ice skater outstretches their arms, their mass is rationalized over a larger space, so they need to slow down to counteract the difference.
Now, we are going to put this concept to the test by estimating how much the ice skater speeds up by estimating the change in her rotational inertia. The first thing that is needed to be figured out is the moment of inertia: Iout when her arms are outstretched,and a leg is out while the figure skater is spinning slowly. Also, we need to figure out the moment of inertia: Iin when...

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