The physics of winter sports | Tomorrow Today - The Science Magazine | DW | 17.02.2014
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Tomorrow Today

The physics of winter sports

Bobsleds can hit speeds of up to 150 km/h, and even the tiniest wrong move can cause the sled to go hurtling off the tracks. Getting a top time is a question of honed skill. Pilots have to ensure that the sled's runners run as straight as possible to cut down on friction. Figure skaters run into similar problems when they pirouette.

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In both disciplines, natural laws play an important role in the end result. We went to talk with scientist Metin Tolan from the University of Dortmund to hear more about the physics behind the Olympics.