Dancing on Ice: How do ice skaters spin? With Suzanne Shaw and Matt Evers | We The Curious

Dancing on Ice: How do ice skaters spin? With Suzanne Shaw and Matt Evers | We The Curious


its 8:30 in the morning and we’re very
excited because today we’re getting a special
behind-the-scenes look Suzanne Shaw and Matt Evers the 2008 winners of ITV’s Dancing on
Ice as they’re practicing behind me for the next
season. I’ve gotta say my most favorite outdoor ice rink I’ve ever been on It’s brilliant! I’m having so much fun and
it’s been great to be able to use the space which is very
similar to the studio rink of dancing on ice so it really helps us. I
grew up skating on an outdoor ice rink which is where I started so to be back
on an outdoor rink has kinda come full circle for me so it’s it’s been amazing I don’t know about you, but I’m absolutely awful at ice skating Everyone here in At Bristol has been getting
a little bit better over the weeks we’ve had the ice rink but we’re certainly nowhere near as good
as Suzanne and Matt and we can’t pull off the same kinds of
tricks and spins that they’re able to do so to help us understand just how they do
those spins we’re going to investigate the physics
of Dancing on Ice the question we’re going to ask today is
how does an ice skater manage to spin so fast? Start off with everything open, your arms out and leg out and then as soon as you want to speed up, bring
everything in, and then you bring everything in you go really fast To understand how these
figures skaters are able to pull off these kinds of spins we need to take a look at the forces these
skaters are under. This is Jazz, our model figure skater demonstrating the moment of inertia
which is the property that tells us how easy it is for something to rotate as defined by the equation: moment of
inertia equals mass multiplied by the radius
squared But what does that mean? well as Jazz spins the length of her outstretched arms is the
radius , or R The mass is M. With her arms wide the bigger radius results been a bigger
moment of inertia so it’s harder to rotate. As she draws her
arms in the radius gets smaller reducing the
moment of inertia so it becomes easier to rotate. But why does she spin faster? To help us understand this i’m with Nerys of the live science team So Nerys, why does Jazz speed-up? Well, it’s all to do with the conservation of angular momentum and what does that mean? Well Jazz has angular
momentum because she spinning and that’s the moment of inertia
multiplied by the angular velocity, how fast she’s spinning.
So where does the conservation part come in? If there are no external forces acting on her, then angular momentum is conserved, it stays the same. When she pulls her arms in, she
reducing her moment of Inertia, so something else has to change to balance
that out. so the angular velocity increases? well
that’s the theory let’s try it out I’m going to get you to hit the ball around a pole and we’ll see what happens. So, as the ball rotates around the pole, the string gets shorter, reducing the radius, giving us a smaller moment of Inertia. And because the angular momentum can’t change the ball speeds up to balance out. That’s right just like what happens with our ice skater. With a bit of skill and a lot of practice these figure skaters are able to use
the conservation of angular momentum and the physics of Dancing on Ice to
achieve those fast spins And if you want more science every week, don’t forget to subscribe All that’s left for me to do is put it into practice.

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