Carnegie Mellon University
February 16, 2018

Skaters Show Off Slick Science

By Emily Payne

Members of the Carnegie Mellon University Figure Skating Club share the physics and math behind their favorite moves.

Victoria Kubyshko, a physics and mathematical sciences major in the Mellon College of Science, demonstrated an axel — the only jump in figure skating in which a skater faces forward as she takes off from the ice. The trick, she said, getting the right angular velocity to complete the required number of revolutions in the air while positioning her body to land on one foot.

Jessica Zhao, a first-year mathematical sciences major in MCS, performed a spin, bringing her arms in close to spin faster — a perfect example of the law of conservation of angular momentum.

The club will host its first intercollegiate competition, the Carnegie Cup, March 17-18 at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pa.