Schottenbauer Publishing

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Physics of Spins

Acceleration is an important feature of all ice skating. The same as with motion, acceleration can be translational (in a straight line), or rotational (in a circle). If acceleration is rotational, then it is in an axial direction, pointing inward to the center of the circle of motion. This form of acceleration is called centripetal acceleration.

Consider the following graph, excerpted from The Science of Ice Skating: Volume 3 from Schottenbauer PublishingThe graph shows acceleration during a figure skating spin.

Discussion Questions
  1. Initially, which direction is vertical or nearly vertical?
  2. At the end, which direction is vertical or nearly vertical?
  3. Describe the relationship between the initial and final angles of the foot in relation to the floor.
  4. Is it possible to identify how many revolutions are present? If so, how many? If not, why?
  5. Is it possible to determine whether this is a slow or fast spin? If so, which is it?
  6. What is the initial velocity? The final velocity?
  7. What is most likely the cause of the spikes in the graph?

Additional free graphs are available in a free pamphlet from the publisher's webpage. 

The following books from Schottenbauer Publishing contain similar types of graphs and data pertaining to the science of ice skating, figure skating, and hockey:

Graphs & Data for Science Lab: Multi-Volume Series
  • The Science of Ice Skating 
    • Volume 1: Translational Motion
    • Volume 2: Rotational Motion (Curves)
    • Volume 3: Rotational Motion (Spins)
    • Volume 4: Jumps
    • Volume 5: Ice Hockey
    • Volume 6: Biophysics
    • Volume 7: Video Analysis
    • Volume 8: Reference Manual
  • The Science of Hockey
    • Volume 1: Force, Acceleration, & Video Analysis of Pucks & Balls
    • Volume 2: Force & Acceleration of Sticks, plus Biophysics
    • Volume 3: Video Analysis of Ice, Field, & Street Hockey Sticks
    Anthologies of 28 Graphs
      • The Science of Figure Skating
      • The Science of Ice Hockey
      • The Science of Winter Olympic Sports