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Gliding for Gold

The Physics of Winter Sports

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…

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.

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Gliding for Gold

Mark Denny

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Reviews

One of the best [books on snow sports] I've ever read.

From snowboarding to curling and skating, this places physics explanations in the world of sports and offers fans and competitors alike a solid understanding of the physics of sports.

Denny, a theoretical physicist and popular science writer provides an enthusiastic, almost breezy tour of the rules, art, and science of skating, hockey, curling, skiing, and snowboarding... For the scientifically inclined reader it provides an interesting window on the science of winter sports.

Both travel and science collections will find it packed with lively history, cultural observations, and fun insights.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
200
ISBN
9781421402154
Illustration Description
34 halftones, 45 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
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

Acknowledgments
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
Ponderables
Technical Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Mark Denny, Ph.D.

Mark Denny is a theoretical physicist who has worked in academia and industry. He is the author of numerous books, including Lights On! The Science of Power Generation, Making Sense of Weather and Climate: The Science behind the Forecasts, and Making the Most of the Anthropocene: Facing the Future.
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