Gliding for Gold: The Physics of Winter Sports

Gliding for Gold: The Physics of Winter Sports

by Mark Denny


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As anyone from cold climates knows, living with lots of ice and snow can lead to a special appreciation of sports such as skiing, sledding, and skating. Prolific physics popularizer Mark Denny’s take on winter athletics lays out the physical principles that govern glaciated game play.

After discussing the physical properties of ice and snow and describing the physics behind sliding friction and aerodynamic drag, Denny applies these concepts to such sports as bobsledding, snowboarding, and curling. He explains why clap skates would only hinder hockey players, how a curling rock curls, the forces that control luge speed, and how steering differs from skiing to snowboarding. With characteristic accuracy and a touch of wit, Denny provides fans, competitors, and coaches with handy, applicable insights into the games they love. The separate section of technical notes offers an original and mathematically rigorous exploration of the key aspects of winter sports physics.

A physics-driven exploration of sports played on ice and snow that is truly fun and informative, Gliding for Gold is the perfect primer for understanding the science behind cold weather athletics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421402154
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 09/30/2011
Edition description: 20
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

After earning a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Edinburgh University, Mark Denny pursued research at Oxford University from 1981 to 1984, and then moved into a career in industry. Now semi-retired, he has written a number of popular science books, including Their Arrows Will Darken the Sun: The Evolution and Science of Ballistics; Super Structures: The Science of Bridges, Buildings, Dams, and Other Feats of Engineering; and Froth!: The Science of Beer, all published by Johns Hopkins.

Table of Contents

The Start Lines
1. Solid Water—Sports and Science
Part I: Ice Sports
2. Skating on Thin Ice
3. Down the Slippery Slope
4. Pucks and Rocks
Part II: Snow Sports
5. Skiing—On the Slopes and on the Level
6. Ski Jumping and Snowboarding—On Snow and Air
The Finish Lines
Technical Notes

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Gliding for Gold: The Physics of Winter Sports 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looked at the nursery then turned away
ReadingRoom More than 1 year ago
I'm a winter sport enthusiast and I'm always looking for ways to improve my performance. I've read up on my favorite snow sports and found this book to be one of the best I've ever read. The author gives some great tips based on the actual physics of the sport. His explanations are very technical, yet writes in such a way that he's easy to understand. I will certainly watch the winter Olympics with fresh eyes in the future!