Monthly Archives: October 2016

Motorsport at the Cafe Scientific

I’m giving a talk at the Cafe Scientific – its held at Durham’s Empty Shop on Saturday 29th October, starting at 3.45. Fascinated? come along to find out more.

This is abstract …

The Physics of Motorsport

What does Motorsport have to do with Cosmology? I love the broad span of physics. Both Cosmology and Formula One are a matter of understanding, of seeing through complicated equations to the principles that underly them, of developing an intuition about how things – in this case, cars and galaxies – will behave under extreme conditions. So while my day job, as a Cosmologist, is understanding the Universe, I have a secret life understanding how racing cars work.

In this meeting of the Cafe Scientifique, I’ll take us on a journey in pursuit of the ultimate racing car. We’ll design our racer as a though experiment, applying simple physics to understand the trade-offs that make a car a winner. Our journey will let us understand what makes a car skid and what ultimately limits its lap time. It’ll help us understand how real-world cars work, and I hope you’ll see the cars roaring around the circuit in a new way.

The material I’ll present formed the basis of a BBC article that I co-wrote with Jenson Button… who knows where this journey might take us next!