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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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Listen to 28 December
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 28 December 2006
Quentin takes to the slopes at Xscape in Castleford, Leeds
Quentin takes to the slopes at the Xscape indoor ski slope in Castleford, Leeds

The Science of Skiing

For this special edition of Material World Quentin Cooper visits the ski slopes of North Yorkshire to find out how science and engineering play an important role in the sport of skiing.

Xscape at Castleford, Leeds, is the UK's largest indoor 'real snow' slope. With an average of 20,000 visitors per week tearing down the 190 metre long slope, the slope needs recoating with a fresh layer of powder every day.

But how do they do this being indoors and having no snow clouds to replenish the white stuff? Quentin talks to the 'snowman', whose job it is to recoat the slopes overnight with a fresh layer of snow using a snow gun and a tractor.

Over the last decade the drive to go faster, further and higher than anyone else has increased and ski design has changed radically. Peter Styring, ex-ski racer and Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, shows Quentin his secret formula for making skis go faster.

Quentin will be donning his salopettes, raising his ski poles and slaloming through the latest technologies in skiing. It's enough to make Eddie the Eagle proud! 

Q&A Special

Quentin will be presenting a special edition of Material World on Thursday 11th January where he'll be attempting to find answers to your burning scientific questions. If there is something you've always wanted to know about the world of science, please send us your question by following this link.
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