The Physics of Figure Skating


How does the Universal Laws of motion effect figure skating?


Is there any friction when you are figure skating? If so, why is skating so hard and slippery? Yes, friction is used during ice skating. The ice skate is curved to help with friction. When the skater begins to skate, the friction helps him or her move forward. When you step over your outer foot and push off, your outer foot is on the curve to keep you from falling backwards. The curve external image c9eaf1e69af44452b11244b63fcb802f.jpggrips the ice and the skater is propelled forward. Friction also helps you stop. When you want to stop, press one of your skates down. It will cut into the ice causing the skater to stop. Friction is a very important part of ice skating!
Does speed, acceleration, and momentum effect how the stunts look? A skater can achieve a great rate of spin by storing angular momentum in their arms and when they push their leg. Then they pull their limbs in close to their body. This move uses torque to generate angular momentum. The pulling of their arms close to their body when they spin reduces the moment of inertia. The rate of spin goes up to conserve angular momentum. Jumping in figure skating can be aided by changing linear momentum external image figureskating_08.gifinto vertical momentum. The skater builds up a great speed (which means bigger linear momentum) then the toe of a skate is pitched into the ice. Up to a point, the faster a skater moves going into a jump the higher and farther they will be able to leap. Good speed and acceleration are used during a sequence when you are figure skating. Skaters speed up and slow down during the execution of camel spin. To do this they extend and retract their arms - changing their angular inertia and therefore their spin speed, whilst conserving angular momentum short explanation as late for meeting!! Well, if a figure skater is just skating straight down the ice and then needs to perform a spin or jump with several rotations in the air, he or she needs to generate angular momentum. Angular momentum is generated by the skater applying a force against the ice. The ice then applies a ground reaction force on the skater. This ground reaction force causes gives the skater angular momentum.
How are the Laws of Motion tied into figure skating? One of the most well known tenets of physics — for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction — was first discovered by Isaac Newton. It's this idea that allows skaters to move across the ice. When they push off against the ice, or "stroke" with their skates, they are applying a force down and back against the ground. Well, the ground just pushes right back, supplying a force forward and up that propels the skaters into a glide or jump; depending on the particulars of the force they applied. Since the forward push is resisted only by the slight friction of the ice, the skater can glide easily.
Does inertia have anything to do with figure skating? One of the major features of figure skating is the spin/twist, which is incorporated into a number of moves (e.g. the camel spin) Skaters speed up and slow down during the execution of camel spin. To do this they extend and retract their arms - changing their angular inertia and therefore their spin speed, whilst conserving angular momentum short explanation as late for meeting!! Recall Newton's first law that an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Well, if a figure skater is just skating straight down the ice and then needs to perform a spin or jump with several rotations in the air, he or she needs to generate angular momentum. Angular momentum is generated by the skater applying a force against the ice. The ice then applies a ground reaction force on the skater. This ground reaction force causes gives the skater angular momentum. The pulling of their arms close to their body when they spin reduces the moment of inertia.external image bunnyannabelle.jpg
Is velocity used in figure skating? The take-off angle, take-off velocity, and height of take-off are the three factors which determine the figure skater's trajectory during a jump. It’s very important to separate the object's vertical take-off velocity from their horizontal take-off velocity. The reason for this is that gravity immediately starts slowing the skater's vertical velocity when he leaves the ice, but gravity has absolutely no affect on the skater's horizontal motion since it is acting only in the vertical direction. Recall that only external force acting in the horizontal direction, e.g. air resistance, would affect the skater's horizontal velocity, which we are neglecting. Once gravity has slowed the skater's upward vertical velocity to zero, gravity then accelerates the skater back to the earth. This is easily shown in a vertical jump. For example, if the skater were to leave the ice with velocity only in the vertical direction (the skater is not jumping forward at all, only up), once he reaches the top of his jump, gravity accelerates him back down.
How is torque used in figure skating? Let's just consider two figure skating events: jumping and spinning. How do skaters start spinning? Well the most basic mechanism to create spin is to generate a torque with the feet by exerting equal and opposite forces with the two feet against the ground with some distance between the lines of action of the forces, or more common in ice skating by twisting with one foot against the ground (ice). Then they pull their limbs in close to their body. This move uses torque to generate angular momentum.


external image skate.jpg
Sources

http://www.livescience.com/culture/phsyics-of-figure-skating-100216.html
**http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/32/Figure-Skating-Newsletter-Challenge-10-11-05**

**http://btc.montana.edu/olympics/physbio/biomechanics/cam02.html**
**http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/feb98/887635696.Ph.r.html**
http://btc.montana.edu/olympics/physbio/biomechanics/pm04.html#vertical%20velocity