The Physics of NASCAR

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 3:15pm - 4:00pm
Reiss 502
Prof. Diandra Leslie Pelecky
Department of Physics, University of Texas at Dallas

A group of racecars piloted by the best drivers in NASCAR are turning a corner. Without warning, one of the cars suddenly hits the outside wall. None of the cars touched, there were no engine failures or flat tires… so what happened?
This is the question that sparked physicist Diandra Leslie-Pelecky’s interest in the science of NASCAR. What she thought would be ten-minute search of the web turned into a book, The Physics of NASCAR, that takes NASCAR (and science) fans behind the scenes at top race shops, onto the asphalt at Texas Motor Speedway and into the garage with the Gillett Evernham Motorsports’ No. 19 car. Her popular website, includes a blog with weekly entries about topical science-related happenings in NASCAR. The website has materials teachers can use in the classroom to link motorsports with math and science.

Host: Paola Barbara
Discussion Leader: Paola Barbara