Tuesday, April 17, 2007

NASCAR Physics

If you're like me you've never really gotten why NASCAR is so interesting. Sometimes I tried to hang out with my cousins while they circled around the tv and watched cars go around in circles, but I usually ended up wandering into the kitchen before too long. The crashes are cool - but there is a lot of filler space.

Despite my intent, the talk on NASCAR physics by Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky got me thinking that NASCAR might not be so bad after all. I never realized all of the little things happening while the cars went around the track - the catch can man, the turbulent air flow around the car, the bump drafting...and all the intuition and knowledge that the driver and his crew have to have to be any good.

We'll have a professionally taped video of the talk posted on PhysicsCentral within the next month or so, but here are a few home videos to tide you over.

What happens when NASCAR meets and an escalator

Jeff Gordon hits a wall

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