Why ice is slippery?


Skating on ice
Skating on ice

Have you ever asked yourself this question? 

There is a theory that explains when you slip on an ice rink, you put pressure on the ice because of your weight and that it is just that pressure that creates a thin layer of water under the blades of the ice skates that causes you to slide so smoothly. 

Clifford Swartz of the John Hopkins University explains it in his article Back of the Envelope Physics. Professor Swartz showed that with a skater with an average weight of 60 kg, the pressure generated would hardly affect the melting point of the ice. 

So why does ice slip and allow us to enjoy ice skating? The explanation is to be found way back in time, thanks to the Victorian physicist Michael Faraday

The conclusion is as follows: As the water turns into ice, a thin layer of water molecules remains on the surface, which is what causes the ice to slip, NOT the pressure of the skate. 

IMPORTANT FOR ICE TRACK MANAGERS: Below -10 ° C, this layer disappears and the ice is no longer so slippery. Keep it in mind the next time you set out for an ice rink.