Bobsledding's a Breeze

Science of Bobsledding

What is Bobsledding?

Bobsledding originated in Switzerland in the 19th century. The sport involves 1 to 4 people who ride in a sled and race through a course, with turns and try to get the fastest time. The name bobsledding comes from when the players bob back and forth to minimize the swinging back and forth on the sides.


Motion in Bobsledding

The sport of bobsledding involves the motion of going on a straight path and turns, and bobbing back and forth to increase their speed.

Newton's First Law

Well since the bobsled itself cannot move by itself, the players at the beginning of the race use their force and push it with their arms. And when the bobsled is moving and hits other forces, it slows down also because of the first law.

Newton's Second Law

This second law relates to the beginning where the players start the race. The mass is the mass of the bobsled that they are pushing there would be a different size sled depending on the number of people that will be in the sled. The acceleration is the increasing speed your sled goes as the players are pushing the sled.

Newton's Third Law

Newton’s third law states that “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So when the players use their legs and push off, the bobsleigh moves forward, by the players push backwards, creating the bobsleigh movement.
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Energy Transfer

At the beginning when the players are pushing the bobsleigh they are creating potential energy for the rest of the race. The energy will then turn into the kinetic energy pushing the players through the rest of the course.

Energy Conservation

The players wear really tight suits and try to stick their head and body parts in the bobsled as tight as possible. This makes the wind and other ways of creating friction go away and make them go faster during the race.

The average speed most people get up to in bobsledding is 84 mph for women, and for men the average speed is 91 mph.