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Physics of Roller Skating
Transcript of Physics of Roller Skating
Forces on Flat Tracks
The force that bears the radial acceleration (or rate of change of the speed in a given direction toward the center) is the frictional force between the skates and the rink. Gravity is present, as well as the normal force lying straight up because of the track being flat. The force you apply to the ground is only acting on the ground so it does not move you. Unlike the force of friction, which does act on you. Even if the teammate/roller skater is sliding, the friction toward the center is static. Static friction is the friction existing between a resting object and the surface that it is resting on. Since the wheel does not slide across the ground, rolling involves static friction. As it rolls over, it comes in contact with ground and moves away.
Forces on Banked Tracks
Classic roller derby is performed on a banked track, or a sloped track, which gathers up speed for the skaters. Gravity is naturally again in play like with a flat track, holding the skater down. The normal force is perpendicular (or at a 90 degree angle to the surface), and the force of static friction is in the reversed route from the way the skater would slide if no friction was to be present. Which brings us to Newton's First Law...
Newton's First Law
If the skater were stationary with no friction present, then she would slide downward on the inclined track. Since she is skating around the bank, Newton's First Law strikes, and provided she is skating quick enough, she would then slide up the inclined track. Newton's First Law conveys that something at rest will wait at rest, and something in motion will stay in motion with a consistent velocity (speed in a certain direction), unless acted upon by a force.
Importance & Relation to Physics
Roller skating and derby is more of a vintage contact sport (mainly known for women players)/activity but still has a fair population of fans and comes into public eye sometimes, like with the movie
. It comes into relation with physics through force, Newton's First Law, movement, and momentum.
Movement of Skates
Movement of Arms
Stopping Movement of Skates
Wheels grasp the ground with rolling friction. The edges of the wheels employ a backward force to the ground and moves them onward. The wheels are rolling, not slipping, when the skater coasts. The wheels grip the ground continually.
By making a higher-friction contact, they can stop their skates. Dragging their wheels sideways or using a rubber stopper are two ways to do this.
In roller derby, there tends to be a fair amount of pushing, but pushing with your hands is not allowed. The force being used to push someone out of the way on the track is determined by mass multiplied by acceleration. If there is more mass put into the push, the resulting force will be stronger. The same goes for the speed put into the push.
The forward/backward movement of the skaters swinging their arms can propel them forward further through the track. This enhances momentum; the amount of motion of a moving body. A balanced amount of momentum is needed. Too much momentum can be detrimental and lead to them falling forward.