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The Physics of Freestyle Skiing

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A.T. Aucoin

on 10 February 2014

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Transcript of The Physics of Freestyle Skiing

Nanako Fukuda and Anna Terese Aucoin
The Physics of Freestyle Skiing
History of Freestyle Skiing
In 1979 freestyle skiing became recognized by the International Ski Federation.
Freestyle skiing began in the early 20th century in Norway, Italy, and Austria.
First appeared in the Olympics in 1992.
Referred to as "Hot Dogging"
New freestyle events were added this year including ski half pipe and slope style
Types of Freestyle Skiing
1. Mogul - A descent down a bumpy slope
2. Aerials - 2 ski jumps
3. Ski Cross - A 1000 meter course with obstacles and turns
4. Ski Half Pipe - Half pipe slope performance
5. Ski Slope Style - A sloped course with many obstacles such as rails and jumps
Equipment
Ski Poles
Skis
Ski Boots
Helmets
Knee/ Elbow Pads (Not used in every event)
Physics of Freestyle Skiing: Downhill and Forward Motion
Drag Force can slow skiers down. To prevent this, skiers curl up into a crouched position to reduce surface area.
Friction also skier's makes a skier go slower. Many skiers wax their skies to lessen the friction.
Also to increase acceleration due to Newton's 2nd law (acceleration depends on force and mass) the skier tries to go in a straight line.
Before a skier pushes off at the top of their run, they are loaded with potential energy but as the skier goes down the course that energy is converted into kinetic energy.
The force of gravity helps to pull the skier down the slope.
Physics of Freestyle Skiing: Aerial Motion
Skiers rely on angular momentum which is created when torque, a twisting force, is applied to an object.
Angular momentum is a measure of the amount of rotation an object has.
They cannot change their angular momentum once they are in the air, but they can control their rotation speed by using their arms to increase or decrease their moment of inertia, which is the resistance an object has to a twisting force.
To increase angular momentum and inertia, a skier distributes his weight from the center of rotation.
Rules of Freestyle Skiing
Freestyle skiing does not contain many rules more so than suggestions or how an event works.
During the jump, skiers are in free fall because gravity is the only force acting on them.

Landing
Skiers bend their knees to reduce the impact on their bones.
Resources
Olympic.org
real-world-physics-problems.com
nytimes.com
sochi2014.com
Full transcript