In a professional swimming competition, the difference between first and second place can come down to thousandths of a second. Swimmers try to gain any advantage they can, and in 2007 Speedo developed a new suit to help. This suit claimed to eliminate 5% of the drag (resistance of the water on the body) when compared to other suits. The Speedo suit broke countless world records between 2007 and 2009, including 43 at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy. In 2009 the swimming governing body banned the suits, to even the playing field.
Read the basics of swimsuit technology.
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It’s all about friction. Really. Friction from the snow, friction from the air, friction from the surface of the ski or the clothing you wear. The physics of skiing is all about how to overcome drag and resistance and allow a skier to slice his/her way down the mountain. And if Newton’s laws have anything to do with it, a skier who controls friction best has the best chance of winning.
Find out the basics of friction and skiing.
Articles by Marcia Howell.