Essay on Angular Momentum and Skating

Essay on Angular Momentum and Skating

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Angular momentum is the relationship between Rotational Inertia and Rotational Speed. More simply, it is the tendency an object has to continue moving in a circle or spinning.

Angular Momentum = Angular Velocity x Rotational Inertia

When a figure skater pulls their arms closer to their body, they are reducing their Rotational Inertia, making themselves more aerodynamic. In order to sustain this and maintain their momentum, the Rotational Speed must increase.

Angular Conservation

Angular momentum is basically an object’s resistance to a change in rotation. To change an object’s motion, force must be applied, since objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This force is called torque when relating to rotational motion (Torque = Force x Perpendicular Distance from Axis). When torque is applied, the angular momentum increases, then decreases due to friction. But on the ice, there is barely any friction, and the skater can sustain their momentum for long periods of time.

Rotational Inertia requires the object to rotate around its axis as opposed to how an object would behave wh...

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