NASCAR can help learn physics



August 9, 2019 - 4:27 PM

Drivers take a pace lap before a second rain delay at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on June 9. Rain postponed the race to June 10. MARY LEWANDOWSKI/US NEWS

There’s just something thrilling about traveling at high speeds. Throughout history people have always pushed themselves to go faster, whether on foot, on horseback, on a boat or on a bicycle.

Nearly every weekend, today’s speed lovers can live vicariously by watching their favorite NASCAR drivers race around the track at death-defying speeds.

Maybe it’s the excitement in the crowd or maybe it’s the constant threat of danger that draws people to the sport. Or maybe its the feats of science and engineering that pull some spectators in. As a physicist, I love seeing all the physics principles on display during a NASCAR race.

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