As a physicist, I love seeing all the physics principles on display during a NASCAR race.
…for drivers it’s a balancing act—they want to keep the pedal to the metal, but they can’t go so fast on a curve that their speed overpowers the maneuvering ability provided by friction. Go too quickly and the friction may not be enough to prevent the car from continuing in its original direction and sliding straight into the wall. Slow down too much and you fall behind the competition.
The way the track is designed can help out here. The turns are banked, meaning they are higher on the outside of the track and lower toward the center. Part of the force of the road pushing up on the car—what physicists call the normal force – assists the frictional force of the tires and helps the car make it around the turn.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.