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Homework Help: Help science project due tomorrow - Figure Skater Jump

  1. Jan 16, 2014 #1
    Help science project due tomorrow -- Figure Skater Jump

    Hello, I need help on my physics project that is dues tomorrow. The project is about the energy conservation of a figure skater doing a waltz jump. There are four stages that I explain her kinetic, potential and total energy. For stage four, the figure skater lands on the ice. Her energy is converted into kinetic energy. However, some of her energy goes into the vibrations of the ice. Eventually the skater will put her foot down and slide it on the ice to stop moving. The energy will turn into heat. I was wondering how to calculate how much energy goes into the ice, and how much kinetic energy she has when she lands. Here is some information- the figure skater weighs 45 kg. The total energy for the first three stages is 157.5 J. In the second stage when the figure skater has maximum kinetic energy, her velocity is 2.65^2. If anyone could post anything helpful, soon, it would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2014 #2
    I would guess that upon hitting the ice, her vertical velocity would be fully absorbed in an inelastic collision. I would also guess that initially very little of the horizon component is lost. Do you have her horizontal velocity after the jump?
    Once skating along the ice, controlling the direction of the blade of the skate is important. Along the direction of the blade there should be very little acceleration of deceleration. But side forces on the blade could be used to apply force to the ice - either by cutting the ice or using the legs for power or as shock absorbers.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Jan 16, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    I believe you are missing one very important part of the energy equation, but I'm not sure since you've posted none of your work so far. Can you please post your equations and reasoning for each of the 4 stages so far? That will help us to ask questions that may lead you to better answers.
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