Next Performance

Thursday, March 1st

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Backstage Bistro

Columbus Science Pub

Next Performance

Thursday, March 1st

Show Times
Select Thursdays @ 7:30pm

Food & drink service available before showtime!

The Columbus Science Pub is a free event that aims to present scientific issues in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. No science background? No problem!! Everyone and every question is welcome.

The presentation starts promptly at 7:30pm, if you’d like to order food before the event, please arrive early. A full bar and menu will be available from the excellent Backstage Bistro kitchen!

March 1st

180301 Sci Pub Header

Battelle Research Leader Rick Olson and the Science of Curling

The “Roaring Game” is one of the oldest games still played. The first curling stones weighed nearly 50 lbs and were simply flat-bottomed river stones.  Scotsmen from Stirling and Perth threw them in the early 1500s to pass the time away during the bleak months of winter. The game was first played on frozen ponds and got its nickname from the sound of the large granite stones rumbling across ice. One major advance in the 1600s: the stones started to be made with handles. Since then, 20th century fabrication techniques made uniform stones and indoor rinks with precise control of the curling ice, turned a mere winter distraction played by burly men into a precision sport for all to play.

These facts and more fascinate this month’s speaker Rick Olson, avid curler and “science advisor” to the Columbus Curling League.

Rick has spent more than 40 years thinking about some of the greatest engineering challenges of the 20th century. His early career centered on the design and fabrication of the tiles that protected the Space Shuttle on reentry.

Rick has applied his materials engineering mind to understanding the complex dynamics behind the game of curling. The dynamics that make a 44 lb stone slide across the ice in what appears to be an effortless glide, the peculiarities of modern curling ice, and an answer to question, “What’s up with all of that sweeping and yelling?” will all be discussed. Rick will explain physics of the stone-ice interaction, the contentious academic debates around curling physics and a simple explanation of curling rules, interspersed with some great shots made in curling matches.

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