April 24, 2018 8:58 pm

Tuesday, Take the Ice with Chuck Nice, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Heather Berlin, and Olympic Medalist Sasha Cohen

On this week’s episode of Playing with Science, we take to the ice. However, instead of taking to actual ice, we instead take to the stage, because this episode of Playing with Science was recorded at the Brooklyn Academy of Music during our StarTalk at BAM: Science is Everywhere show.

Host Chuck Nice takes the stage with his guests, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, neuroscientist and All-Stars host Dr. Heather Berlin, and Olympic Medalist Sasha Cohen, to dive into the science of figure skating. Unfortunately, one of our intrepid co-hosts, Gary O’Reilly, was grounded on the other side of the pond at the time of this recording so we had to trek on without him.

Elliot Severn's photo of Heather Berlin, Sasha Cohen, and Chuck Nice onstage at Playing with Science at BAM.

Sasha Cohen demonstrates her spinning skills on stage at BAM with Heather Berlin and Chuck Nice. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn.

You’ll hear how Sasha got her start in figure skating, and Neil reminisces about his high school job as a rink guard where he raced hockey thugs toe-to-toe – literally. Sasha also re-tells the moment she landed a quadruple jump and how difficult it was to pull off.

You’ll hear/see a demonstration of the physics behind a figure-skating jump and spin performed by Neil and Sasha. Heather explains what’s really going on with “muscle memory.” Also, Neil explains to Sasha how she can pull off a quintuple jump (five spins in the air). However, his recommendation is of questionable legality. Neil also takes us down a geek rabbit hole behind the science of ice: how it forms, how it breaks, and how it reacts underneath figure skaters.

If you’re interested in more figure skating science don’t forget that we had Sasha on another episode of Playing with Science, Figure Skating Physics, with Olympic Medalist Sasha Cohen, where Gary and Chuck chatted with Sasha, physicist John Eric Goff, and Jackie Wong, figure skating analyst and host of the Ice Talk podcast. They discuss a lot of things including skate blade technology, the quadruple Lutz, Sasha’s rigorous training schedule, and much more.

Are you ready to take the ice? Please join us tomorrow night at 7pm ET for Playing with Science at BAM, with Sasha Cohen & Neil deGrasse Tyson right here on our website, as well as on our Playing with Science channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen