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Physics of speed skating



To continue with the the theme of the Winter Olympics, I will talk about the physics of another one of my favorite events, speed skating. Speed skating is exciting to watch, but do you know how fast the athletes are actually going? They can reach speeds of up to 62 kph which is almost 40 miles per hour! Some of the physics of speed skating include centripetal force, work and power. Centripetal force, which is equal to the mass of the skater times their velocity squared divided by the radius of their circular path, exists when the athlete is skating around a circular path and their centripetal acceleration is in the direction of the center of the circle. Work and Power are involved in speed skating because power is the rate at which work is done. Speed skaters generate a lot of power when they reach the really fast speeds of 40 mph. When I watch speed skating I will be sure to think of all the physics involved.


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