We do not hesitate to practice extreme sports to feel strong sensations. Faced with danger, our limbic system goes into overdrive, pouring out a wave of adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine that provide us with intense well-being. Number of candidates for Beijing Winter Olympics events this year are only looking to flirt with danger and taste this exhilarating sensation of high speed.
The bobsleigh athletesluge and skeleton feel a extreme excitement hurtling down winding and steep tracks at more than 130 km/h. They have only one idea in mind: to slide at breakneck speed. However, a lot of physical laws condition this descent.
From afar, they seem to be gliding rapidly on a inclined track. But the dynamics of their movement is much more complex.
Gravitational energy is converted into potential energy
The skeleton bob, luge and board will slide in a ice corridor narrow and steep. They advance thanks to the only force of gravity. This is why players have to descend from a certain height on a steeply inclined track. They settle into their vehicles, then leave the gravitational attraction accelerate their course.
Some toboggans set off at speeds close to 145 km/h. Runners reach these high speeds thanks to the conversion of gravitational potential energy in kinetic energy. They increase in turns and with the weight of the athlete.
Players are subjected to a large amount of kinetic energy
Runners are faced with a large amount of kinetic energy. Their speed is influenced by the forces present. It can be the air frictionground reaction or gravity. others physical factors also play an important role to mention only the way players squat in the luge or the bobsleigh.
The gold medals take into account the influence of these physical phenomena on their performance. Their speed therefore largely depends on how well they know how to adapt to the physical laws that govern their environment. Above all, they must combine acceleration and power.
This year, the olympic events will take place at Yanqing National Sliding Center. This track is approximately 1.6 km long, has a drop of 121 meters and has 16 turns. The stiffness of the steepest section reaches 18%.