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One of the new events in the 2002 Winter Olympics was the sport of skeleton (see photo). Starting at the top of a steep, icy track, a rider jumps onto a sled (known as a skeleton) and proceeds-belly down and head first-to slide down the track. The track has fifteen turns and drops 100 m in elevation from top to bottom.

(a) In the absence of nonconservative forces, such as friction and air resistance, what would be the speed of a rider at the bottom of the track? Assume that the speed of the rider at the beginning of the run is relatively small and can be ignored.
m/s

(b) In reality, the best riders reach the bottom with a speed of 35.8 m/s (about 80 mi/h). How much work is done on an 84.4-kg rider and skeleton by nonconservative forces?

  • physics -

    a. V^2 = Vo^2 + 2g*h.
    V2 = 0 + 19.6*100 = 1960
    V = 44.3 m/s.

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