Curling is a sport that has been around for decades, and while there are only a few countries that participate in the game at an Olympic level, it cannot be denied that it is a sport that triggers interest. Every single person who has watched curling for the first time are first struck by how the players move along the ice, brushing the ice and move the stone. The second thing that strikes them is the science behind how the curling stone can move along the ice. It is quite fascinating and funny at first to see the enthusiastic players scurrying along the ice and willing a stone to move to its goal post. However, looking at it from a scientific perspective, it is truly not known how the curling stone can move across the ice the way it does – at least this far. Thanks to a team of researchers, the sport now has some research backed up towhat the mechanism of the curling stone and the curved path it takes when sliding across the ice. When discovered by a group of scientists who are specialised in the study of friction and wear, this theory is bound to be right.
What Happens to The Stone on Ice
When the game starts the players shoot the curling stones to glide along the ice. As the stone glides, it begins to lose momentum but reaches its destination that is over 30 meters away. The tricky part is that the stone takes a curved path when it glides along the ice, making it a case where the players need to be able to judge the path it would take easily. What makes it more tricky is that the curled stones need to stack behind each other at the other end. The only thing that can affect the stone is the friction on ice that the players can use to brush it intensively.
A clockwise curl of the stone makes it move right and vice versa. This is not the case with other things that you slide along the ice. A clockwise curl of any other object on ice makes it move to the left. This phenomenon about curling is what makes this sport a challenge to play as it defies laws of nature. According to the research, when the stone is released to slide across the ice, there are small scratches that are formed on the ice, that is caused by the friction and roughness of the stone.
When the stones turn, a deviation from the path it takes naturally occurs, which makes it curl at an angle. This means that when the stone encounters the scratch on the ice, it tends to follow the angle of the scratch. These scratches are the culprits or the reason why the curling stones curl the way they do. The critical thing to remember when curling stones is that the sliding surface gives the expected propel to move it forward. As a professional, most curlers are accustomed to this happening and expect it to arise out of practice. However, knowing the real reason why it happens can help in improving their game or understanding the sport better.