Many Winter Olympic sports are greatly dependent on technique, engineering, and/or gravity. For example, during luge, while gravity is accelerating the sled up to 80 mph down the track, the slider must use good technique to steer the sled and minimize air resistance. To excel in these type of sports, it is helpful to have a full appreciation of physics and biomechanics. Physics is a broad field which includes mechanics, electricity, magnetism, optics, etc., and biomechanics is the study of the mechanics of living systems. In the module we will use the sports of luge and figure skating to teach you four basic mechanical concepts: linear kinematics, linear dynamics, projectile motion, and conservation of angular momentum. In addition, we have developed a glossary which defines and illustrates all the physics terminology you will need to complete this module.

Get Involved

Please take advantage of some unique opportunities that this course offers. You should interact with the material, and take advantage of all the special activities that have been created.

It is better with pictures!

Enjoy the illustrations, graphics, and videos. These materials were designed to not only enhance your understanding of the material, but to be fun and engaging and to provoke an interest into the world of sports science. Share with us and others what you have done in your classroom to incorporate figure skating and luge into your physic's lessons.

Your opinion matters

We would like to hear your opinions, comments, or suggestions concerning the physics and biomechanics module. Please use the e-mail button at the button of the page to contact us.


It's all about speed: The physics of luge

Jumping and rotating: The biomechanics of skating

Additional Information

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Winter Olympics Course Outline Comments Questions
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© April, 1998, Montana State University-Bozeman