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written by Diandra Leslie-Pelecki
published by the Santa Fe Productions
supported by the National Science Foundation
This web page consists of a series of NSF-sponsored videos on the scientific principles behind NASCAR racing. Based on the book The Physics of NASCAR by Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, the videos were designed to provide an entertaining, yet technically accurate, look at the math and science involved in motor sports. A variety of topics are explored: drag, aerodynamics, friction and heat, conservation of energy, circular motion, power, momentum, load transfer, and more. Viewers will see how NASCAR teams push science to its limits to gain the fraction of a second that separates the winner from the losers. The videos also show how these race cars are designed with "crumple zones" to transfer kinetic energy away from the driver's seat in a violent crash.

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Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Applications of Newton's Laws
- Linear Momentum
- Motion in Two Dimensions
= 2D Acceleration
= Center of Mass
- Newton's Second Law
= Force, Acceleration
- Work and Energy
= Conservation of Energy
= Mechanical Power
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Middle School
- Informal Education
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
General Public
Access Rights:
Free access
© 2009 Santa Fe Productions and Diandra Leslie-Pelecki
NSF Number:
auto collision, auto racing, automobile physics, car racing, centripetal force, collisions, energy conservation, kinetic energy, race car, racecar, video
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created January 13, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
June 29, 2010 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 30, 2009
Other Collections:

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
D. Leslie-Pelecki, (Santa Fe Productions, Albuquerque, 2009), WWW Document, (https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/sos/index.jsp).
D. Leslie-Pelecki, The Science of Speed (Santa Fe Productions, Albuquerque, 2009), <https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/sos/index.jsp>.
APA Format
Leslie-Pelecki, D. (2009, October 30). The Science of Speed. Retrieved June 15, 2024, from Santa Fe Productions: https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/sos/index.jsp
Chicago Format
Leslie-Pelecki, Diandra. The Science of Speed. Albuquerque: Santa Fe Productions, October 30, 2009. https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/sos/index.jsp (accessed 15 June 2024).
MLA Format
Leslie-Pelecki, Diandra. The Science of Speed. Albuquerque: Santa Fe Productions, 2009. 30 Oct. 2009. National Science Foundation. 15 June 2024 <https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/sos/index.jsp>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Diandra Leslie-Pelecki", Title = {The Science of Speed}, Publisher = {Santa Fe Productions}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {15 June 2024}, Month = {October 30, 2009}, Year = {2009} }
Refer Export Format

%A Diandra Leslie-Pelecki %T The Science of Speed %D October 30, 2009 %I Santa Fe Productions %C Albuquerque %U https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/sos/index.jsp %O application/flash

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Leslie-Pelecki, Diandra %D October 30, 2009 %T The Science of Speed %I Santa Fe Productions %V 2024 %N 15 June 2024 %8 October 30, 2009 %9 application/flash %U https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/sos/index.jsp

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Citation Source Information

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