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Physics EducationIf motor racing and physics are your thing, you will love this book.
— Ken Zetie
Revving engines, smoking tires, and high speeds. Car racing enthusiasts and race drivers alike know the thrill of competition, the push to perform better, and the agony—and dangers—of bad decisions. But driving faster and better involves more than just high horsepower and tightly tuned engines. Physicist and amateur racer Chuck Edmondson thoroughly discusses the physics underlying car racing and explains just what’s going on during any race, why, and how a driver can improve ...
Revving engines, smoking tires, and high speeds. Car racing enthusiasts and race drivers alike know the thrill of competition, the push to perform better, and the agony—and dangers—of bad decisions. But driving faster and better involves more than just high horsepower and tightly tuned engines. Physicist and amateur racer Chuck Edmondson thoroughly discusses the physics underlying car racing and explains just what’s going on during any race, why, and how a driver can improve control and ultimately win.
The world of motorsports is rich with excitement and competition—and physics. Edmondson applies common mathematical theories to real-world racing situations to reveal the secrets behind successful fast driving. He explains such key concepts as how to tune your car and why it matters, how to calculate 0 to 60 mph times and quarter-mile times and why they are important, and where, when, why, and how to use kinematics in road racing. He wraps it up with insight into the impact and benefit of green technologies in racing. In each case, Edmondson’s in-depth explanations and worked equations link the physics principles to qualitative racing advice.
From selecting shifting points to load transfer in car control and beyond, Fast Car Physics is the ideal source to consult before buckling up and cinching down the belts on your racing harness.
— Ken Zetie
You don't have to be an engineer to build a fast race car but that certainly helps. Fast Car Physics helps enthusiasts apply the knowledge they gained in high school and college physics courses to the operation and tuning of a track car. Best of all, he does it in a clear and easy-to-follow manner.
Fans of fast wheels and science alike will get a charge from this look at motor sports by a physicist and amateur race car driver.
Editor's Pick. Fast Car Physics is an excellent book for understanding the science and engineering behind car racing.
A fine pick for any science of racing fan's collection!
— Mark Bollman
If motor racing and physics are your thing, you will love this book.
The book functions well as a deep look into auto racing as well as a good description of applied physics.
Chapter 1 Torque or Horsepower? Finding the Shift Points 1
1.1 Acceleration and Newton's Second Law 3
1.2 Velocity, Speed, Rotation, and Engine rpm 7
1.3 The Car, Horsepower, and Torque 9
1.4 Tire Markings 11
1.5 Calculations 12
1.6 First Gear, It's All Right. Second Gear... 13
1.7 Summary 16
Chapter 2 Horsepower, 0 to 60 mph, and the Quarter Mile 18
2.1 Horsepower 18
2.2 How Does Drag Force Affect Shift Points? 22
2.3 Gear Ratios 23
2.4 Calculating 0 to 60 mph Times 24
2.5 Assumptions and Results 28
2.6 What is the Limit for 0 to 60 mph? 29
2.7 Aerodynamic Drag 31
2.8 Correction Factors 33
2.9 The Quarter Mile 35
2.10 Flat Torque Curves 36
2.11 Top Fuel Dragsters 39
2.12 Summary 44
Chapter 3 Finding the Racing Line: Road Racing 45
3.1 The Traction Circle 48
3.2 Ninety Degree Right-Hand Turn 53
3.3 General Turn 59
3.4 Constructing a Track Model 59
3.5 Types of Turns 62
3.6 Type 1 Turn 64
3.7 Type 2 Turn 69
3.8 Type 3 Turn 71
3.9 Turning While Speeding Up 76
3.10 Summary 81
Chapter 4 Basic Vehicle Dynamics: Load Transfer and Tires 82
4.1 Center of Gravity 82
4.2 Longitudinal and Lateral Center of Gravity 83
4.3 Height of the Center of Gravity 85
4.4 Load Transfer and the Static Stability Factor 88
4.5 Tires and Forces 92
4.6 Tire Construction 93
4.7 Wheels 94
4.8 Tires under Static Load 95
4.9 Tires under Dynamic Load 103
4.10 Contact Patch Friction 105
4.11 Material Properties and Testing 109
4.12 Longitudinal Force and Longitudinal Slip 112
4.13 Lateral Force and the Slip Angle 115
4.14 Aligning Torque 118
4.15 Summary 120
Chapter 5 Steering and Suspension 123
5.1 More on Steering 123
5.2 Bicycle Model: Oversteer and Understeer 126
5.3 Wheel Alignment 130
5.4 Suspension Basics 136
5.5 Double A-arm or Wishbone Suspension 136
5.6 MacPherson Strut Suspension 143
5.7 NASCAR-Type Solid Rear Axle 144
5.8 Springs and Dampers 146
5.9 Shock Absorbers 160
5.10 Lateral Load Transfer: Advanced Approach 164
5.11 Correcting Handling Problems 171
5.12 Understeer Correction 172
5.13 Oversteer Correction 175
5.14 Summary 177
Chapter 6 Green Racing 179
6.1 What Is Green Racing? 181
6.2 Regenerative Braking 184
6.3 Mechanical Energy Storage: Flywheels 186
6.4 Electrical Energy Storage: Batteries 187
6.5 Electrical Energy Storage: Capacitors 191
6.6 What Type of Hybrid Is It? 194
6.7 Parallel Configuration Hybrid: Toyota Prius 194
6.8 All-Electric Vehicles 200
6.9 Fuel Cells 205
6.10 Alternative Fuels 207
6.11 Summary 218
Conclusion: Get Off the Streets and Go Racing! 220
Suggested Reading 223
Posted May 21, 2012
Posted June 23, 2011
No text was provided for this review.