Geology at the Winter Olympics: Are curling stones?
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games, also known as The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, will open today (February 4, 2022).Olympic Games is a universal festival, is the world’s largest comprehensive games.By hosting the Winter Olympics, Beijing made history, becoming the first “double Olympic City” to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.Compared with European and American countries, China’s winter Olympic sports started late.In 1924, the first Winter Olympic Games were held in Chamonix, France. It was not until 1980 that China participated in the 13th Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games for the first time.With the progress of The Times, China’s sports have made great achievements in the world and won the applause of the world.In today’s extremely rich material life, enjoying sports games has become a demand of our life.As a geologist, the author found that many sports in the Winter Olympics contain geological principles, especially curling. Curling looks like a big stone, but it is not a simple big stone.Today, I will take you to understand the interesting curling.On February 2, Chinese athletes in Beijing Olympic curling start writing | Dong Hanwen curling origin in academic circles, there is debate about the origin of curling, mainly includes two viewpoints: the origins of the European continent and Scottish origin.Either way, curling is a sport with a long history.The oldest surviving curling stone was found at the bottom of Dunblane Pond in Scotland and was carved in 1511.The stone, dated 1511, is the oldest in existence and is preserved at the Starling Smith Museum of Fine Arts in Scotland. The sport is also recorded in Renaissance works such as Dutch painter Pieter Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow (1565),It can be seen that curling had become a great fun for farmers in the cold winter.According to historical records, ice sports played in the low countries of continental Europe in the 6th century bore some similarities to modern curling, but there were significant differences.Over time, the game evolved with Scottish stone and the form of the game improved, eventually developing into curling as we see it today.The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565)Now the international commonly used curling is mainly composed of the body, handle and bolt, and the body can be further divided into the body, top and bottom.According to the Chinese Curling Association (2014), the circumference of a curling stone used for competition should not exceed 91.44 centimeters (36 inches), the height should not be less than 11.43 centimeters (4.5 inches), and the weight should not exceed 19.96 kilograms (44 pounds), including the handle and screws, and not be less than 17.24 kilograms (38 pounds).The rules of curling are as follows: “Curling is played against each other by two teams of four players.The game lasted 10 rounds.Each player on both teams has two curlers, or two tosses.The two teams toss the ball alternately according to the order of first base, second base, third base and the main player. When a player throws the ball, two players of his own team hold the brush in front of the ice to quickly brush the ice so that the curling stone can reach the center of the base accurately.An opposing player may also wipe the ice in front of the stone to keep it away from the center of the circle.”The rules of curling determine the particularity of curling stone.(1) Impact resistance, mainly for the side of curling.In order to score points, athletes will keep hitting the stones of their teammates or opponents, which requires that the stones are stone shaped and hard, and the material composition is uniform and the mineral particles are fine.(2) impervious to water, mainly for the underside of the curling.Because curling is on the ice, the underside is in direct contact with the ice for a long time, which requires that curling stone is not only wear-resistant, but also dense and impermeable to water.Therefore, the curling we see is not simply made from a stone pier, but from two different rock materials assembled.Common Ailsa and Blue Hone are two different stones used for the main body and the underside of a curling stone. Currently, curling stones used in the world mainly come from two places:Scotland’s Ailsa Craig, home to the Common Ailsa and Blue Hone, is home to two thirds of the world’s best curling stones, and north Wales.Ailsa Craig is a type of alkaline granite formed at 62Ma (million years).The fresh surface of the rock is gray, medium-fine granite structure, massive structure, mainly composed of potassium feldspar, quartz, plagioclase, hornblende (dark mineral), composition is uniform.Common Ailsa, which is used for curling, has thicker particles, while Blue Hone, which is used for the underside, has finer and denser particles and is considered the best underside stone.According to the introduction, the production of a curling, to go through mining, cutting (blank), drilling (according to the handle), grinding, installation of the bottom, polishing and other links.Not only that, each link also includes a number of processes, such as polishing, the use of different precision sandpaper, from rough polishing, fine polishing to the final fine polishing.This is the interesting curling, I believe that you understand these stories of curling, then go to watch the Winter Olympics curling games, will have different experience and harvest.I wish China’s Olympic athletes good results!About author: Dong Hanwen, Associate Professor, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Postgraduate supervisor, member of Youth Working Committee of Geological Society of China, Vice chairman of China Committee of World Union of Young Geoscientists (YES), visiting scholar of University of British Columbia, Canada.This article is reproduced with authorization from the wechat official account “Mining Industry”.1. 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