Physics of Skiing

The physics of skiing refers to the analysis of the ]s actiing on a person while skiing. The motion of a skier is determined by the physical principles of the conservation of energy and the frictional forces acting on the body.

As the skier is accelerated down the hill by the force of gravity, her gravitational potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, the energy of motion. Ideally, all of the potential energy would be converted into kinetic energy, however, some of the energy is lost to heat caused by friction. One type of friction acting on the skier is the kinetic friction between the skis and snow. The force of friction acts in the opposite direction of the direction of motion, resulting in a lower velocity and hence less kinetic energy. The kinetic friction can be reduced by applying wax the the bottom of the skis which reduces the coefficient of friction. Drag is the second type of frictional force acting on a skier. This is the force proportional to the cross-sectional area of a body and the square of its velocity relative to a fluid, as well as the density of the fluid. Skiers can reduce this force by reducing the cross-sectional area of their body.

Famous quotes containing the word physics:

    Mathematics should be mixed not only with physics but with ethics.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)