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REVIEW: "The Physics of NASCAR", Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKPHNSCR.RVW 20080421 The Physics of NASCAR , Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, 2008, 978-0-525-95053-0, U$25.95 %A Diandra Leslie-Pelecky www.stockcarscience.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2008
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      BKPHNSCR.RVW 20080421

      "The Physics of NASCAR", Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, 2008,
      978-0-525-95053-0, U$25.95
      %A Diandra Leslie-Pelecky www.stockcarscience.com
      %C 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
      %D 2008
      %G 978-0-525-95053-0 0-525-95053-2
      %I Penguin/Dutton
      %O U$25.95 416-925-2249 Fax: 416-925-0068 service@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0525950532/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0525950532/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience i+ Tech 2 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 286 p.
      %T "The Physics of NASCAR: How to Make Steel + Gas + Rubber = Speed"

      Nothing in the foreword or the preface really prepares you for the
      contents of the book, As chapter one opens, it seems like it's going
      to be a travelogue by an interested fan who knows something of
      technology and has managed to wangle invites to the workshops and pit
      areas of the NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing)
      circuit. And then suddenly you realize you are, seamlessly and
      painlessly, into a lesson on materials science and crystalline
      structure, interwoven with, and arising from, the sights and sounds in
      a specialized construction plant. Leslie-Lelecky's classes must be

      Well, maybe. That first chapter is great. The material following is
      pretty good, well-written and interesting in a number of places, but
      it is not as well integrated, and the science component doesn't go to
      the same high level. Chapter two spends a lot of time on the process
      of making a NASCAR car before getting into a short outline of
      polymers. Then we move through colour, general dynamics (heat,
      combustion, conduction, and friction), power (with less physics than
      you'd think), and the co-operative nature of research, using the
      problem of aerodynamics. Then more aerodynamics, newtonian dynamics,
      sound (and radio frequencies), friction and tires, springs,
      experimenting, car safety (and crumple zones), track safety, fire
      protection (heat, carbon monoxide, and a lot of biology), and
      miscellaneous bits of other technologies (sometimes with very little
      said about the physics involved).

      For those interested in cars, undoubtedly it will be fascinating to
      see how much science is involved. Those into science would possibly
      be intrigued by some of the technologies used. In general, the
      author's accounts of the people and the teams are sympathetic and grow
      more so as the book progresses.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKPHNSCR.RVW 20080421

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only
      think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished,
      if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
      - Buckminster Fuller
      victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/author/p1/
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