FEB 14, 2018 12:30 PM PST

Curling and physics in the Olympics


Curling is somewhat of a mystifying sport to some of us - how really do you play and are there any rules? Let's take a closer look and learn about the physics involved in this unique sport that you may see gracing your television screen during the next couple of Olympic weeks.

To start, let's not diminish the skill involved in throwing a 42-pound granite stone down an ice rink almost 100 feet long and trying to get it to stop at just the right point on a target. In fact, this sport requires several key techniques, which curlers call the ABCs - alignment, balance, and curl. But the geometry and physics behind the throwing of the stone aren't necessarily what catches your eye when you're glued to the TV; it's the sweeping-type motions.

Mike Greenberg of the San Francisco Curling Club explains that what makes curling special is that it's the only sport where you can affect the trajectory of a thrown object after it has been thrown. How do you do it? With those sweeping motions and the fancy looking brooms! Which in fact are not actually brooms at all (oops, my bad), but brushes which players can use to put pressure on the ice and essentially warm it up to a small degree, which can, in turn, help the stone move straighter and up to 10 feet more than it would have otherwise gone. Sound like a sport you want to try? Watch the video to learn more!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Most Powerful X-ray Source On Earth
NOV 06, 2020
The Most Powerful X-ray Source On Earth
Located inside the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Z Pulsed Power Facility (or Z Machine) i ...
NOV 06, 2020
Space & Astronomy
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
NOV 06, 2020
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
Researchers have found that there could be at least 300 million habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. This could mea ...
JAN 13, 2021
Plants & Animals
Dwarf Giraffes Observed for the First Time Ever
JAN 13, 2021
Dwarf Giraffes Observed for the First Time Ever
The name “dwarf giraffe” certainly seems like an oxymoron, which is why scientists were shocked to observe t ...
MAY 02, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Average Day on Venus Lasts 243 Earth Days
MAY 02, 2021
Average Day on Venus Lasts 243 Earth Days
Although Venus is our planet’s closest neighbour, its fundamental properties have remained largely unknown. Now th ...
JUN 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Washington State University Opens Cannabis Research Center
JUN 05, 2021
Washington State University Opens Cannabis Research Center
Washington State University (WSU) has announced the opening of a multi-disciplinary research center with nearly 100 scie ...
JUN 28, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Yeast Engineered to Produce Biofuel from Previously Unusable Biomass
JUN 28, 2021
Yeast Engineered to Produce Biofuel from Previously Unusable Biomass
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to expand biofuel production with geneticall ...
Loading Comments...