Physics Open House at Augustana College - "Olympics Events"

Sunday, October 5, 2008 from 1:00-4:00 pm
First Floor, Science Building

Member of the Physics Club will guide you in exploring the physics of various Olympic events.

Friction and Drag - Swimmers swim faster if there is low drag. On the other hand, swimmers use drag to propel themselves along. Runners also use friction in the same way to propel themselves forward.  Skaters reduce friction on ice, because a bit of ice melts under their skates, so they are riding on a thin film of liquid water.

Rotation - Bicyclists turn by leaning. This a rotational form of action-reaction. Divers and skaters can speed up their rotation by changing their moment of inertia (bringing their mass closer to the center of rotation).

Elasticity - How bouncy a ball is depends on its elasticity. When it hits a surface, it stops for a moment losing all its kinetic energy. Elasticity is a measure of how much of that energy is stored in the deformation of the ball, and how much is dissipated or lost. This will be demonstrated by bouncing different kinds of balls (basketball, soccer, handball, table tennis, tennis, volleyball).

Projectile motion - In field events, basketball, ski jumping, shooting, archery, etc, a projectile moves up and down while at the same time moving forward. You can't aim straight at your target, because the projectile will drop during its flight and arrive below the target.

Relative motion - Come and learn why shotputters spin and javelin throwers run. Since they are moving when they release the projectile, it moves with a velocity equal to the sum of the velocity of the projectile relative to you and your velocity relative to the ground.