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The Physics of Skiing Essay

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The Physics of Skiing


I have been skiing for about five years and I find it to be one of the most fun and challenging sports there is. A lot of the reason it is so challenging is because of the laws of physics such as gravity and friction. In this essay I will discuss how physics relates to skiing and how this physics makes skiing so fun and challenging. I will also discuss how things like wax and the shape and width of your skis can affect these laws of physics and enhance your skiing.

There are really only two main forces acting on a skier, they are gravity and air resistance. The first and most important thing relating to the physics of skiing is the law of gravity. Gravity is the most familiar force in our everyday lives it is the force that keeps us on the ground it is also the force that makes things fall. We have all heard the saying, “what goes up must come down.” This saying is relating to gravity.

Near the earths surface the acceleration due to gravity is 9.8 m/s^2. When you ski you are taken up to the top of a mountain by a chair lift once you reach the top of the mountain gravity wants to pull you back down the mountain. These forces of gravity and air resistance are what make skiing happen. The air resistance of a skier has a huge effect on how fast a skier is going to go. Air resistance is major factor in ski racing. A skier may reduce his or her air resistance by skiing in a tucked position. This reduces the amount of area that the wind has to hit, thus creating less drag and causing the skier to go a lot faster. Some world class skiers even have helmets that come to a point a few inches behind their head like an airplane wing to further reduce their drag.

The reason that gravity is able to pull ...


... middle of paper ...


...I would ski everyday if I could. I am so glad that there are such things as gravity, friction, air resistance, and kinetic and potential energy because without some of these skiing would not even be possible and without the others skiing would be really boring. If there were no gravity or kinetic and
potential energy skiing could not exist. If there were no friction you would not be able to stop, and if there were too much friction you would not be able to move. And last but certainly not least if there were no air resistance there would be no ski racing. If nobody had any air resistance and they all just went straight down the hill they would all go about the same speed. There would be no way of going into a tighter tuck to go faster that another person. You may have never thought that if there were no such thing as physics there would be no skiing but it is true.


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