# Physics of Olympic Sports

• StephenDoty
In summary, the conversation discusses the use of momentum equations in determining the momentum of the polevolter once they have let go of the pole. It is concluded that conservation of energy, including some "spring" energy for the bending of the pole, would be the appropriate equation to use in this scenario.

#### StephenDoty

Is the collison of the olympic sport polevolting elastic or inelastic? The pole collides with the Earth and stays at that point until the polevolter let's go. So wouldn't you use the momentum equations to see how much momentum the polevolter has once he let's go of the pole?

Which one of the following equations would I use to find the momentum of the polevolter once he has let go of his pole? mv1+mv2=mv1+mv2 or mv1+mv2=(m+m)v

Thank you.

Stephen

StephenDoty said:
So wouldn't you use the momentum equations to see how much momentum the polevolter has once he let's go of the pole?

Hi Stephen!

It's not a collison … it's exactly like swinging on a rope (but upside down ).

So you'd just use conservation of energy (including some "spring" energy for the bending of the pole).

so you would have 1/2mv1^2 + 1/2kx^2 +mgh0= 1/2mv2^2 + 1/2kx^2 +mgh1?

Yup!

## 1. What is the role of physics in Olympic sports?

The role of physics in Olympic sports is to explain and understand the fundamental principles and laws that govern the movement and performance of athletes and their equipment. By using physics concepts such as force, momentum, and energy, scientists can analyze and optimize an athlete's technique and equipment to improve their overall performance.

## 2. How does air resistance affect Olympic sports?

Air resistance, also known as drag, is a force that acts opposite to the direction of motion and is influenced by the speed and surface area of an object. In Olympic sports like skiing, cycling, and diving, air resistance can significantly impact an athlete's performance. By understanding the principles of air resistance, scientists can help athletes reduce drag and improve their speed and efficiency in these sports.

## 3. What is the role of gravity in Olympic sports?

Gravity is a fundamental force that affects all objects on Earth, including athletes and their equipment. In Olympic sports such as long jump, high jump, and pole vault, gravity plays a crucial role in determining an athlete's height and distance. By understanding the principles of gravity, scientists can help athletes optimize their technique and equipment to achieve greater heights and distances.

## 4. How do athletes use principles of motion in Olympic sports?

Athletes use various principles of motion, such as velocity, acceleration, and momentum, to achieve their goals in Olympic sports. For example, in track and field events like sprinting, athletes use their body's acceleration and momentum to reach maximum speed. In sports like skiing and snowboarding, athletes use their understanding of velocity and momentum to perform aerial tricks and maneuvers.

## 5. How do materials and equipment impact performance in Olympic sports?

The choice of materials and equipment can greatly impact an athlete's performance in Olympic sports. For example, in running events, the type of track surface and running shoes can affect an athlete's speed and energy efficiency. In sports like swimming, the design and material of swimsuits can reduce drag and improve performance. Scientists play a crucial role in developing and testing these materials and equipment to help athletes achieve their best performances.