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561-297-1307 or

FAU’s Frontiers in Science Presents
‘NASCAR: The Science Behind the Speed’

BOCA RATON, FL (January 25, 2010) – Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science will continue its 2010 Frontiers in Science spring public lecture series with a presentation by Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky , a nationally-recognized researcher in magnetic nanomaterials.  “NASCAR:  The Science Behind the Speed”  will take place on Friday, February 5 at 3:30 p.m. in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science,  Room 126, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.  

“A group of racecars piloted by the best drivers in NASCAR are turning a corner.  Without warning, one of the cars suddenly hits the outside wall.  There were no engine failures, no flat tires, and none of the cars touched. So what happened?  This is the question that sparked my interest in racing,” said Pelecky.  “What I thought would be a 10 minute Internet search turned into a book, ‘The Physics of NASCAR.’”

In her presentation, Pelecky will guide the audience through understanding what it takes to make racecars faster and safer, and will explain why driving a stock car is much harder than one might think.  The lecture will include examples of current NASCAR science, including why drivers are requesting better car maneuverability from their crew chiefs, as well as how safer barriers have revolutionized track safety.  She also will discuss why the design of tires for the new model of cars is a challenge, and how something as simple as leaving an oil-tank lid slightly askew could lead to competitive advantage.

            Pelecky received her Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Michigan State University, and is currently a professor of physics at the University of Texas at Dallas.  Her popular website,, includes a blog with weekly entries about topical science-related happenings in NASCAR and other motorsports series.

            This lecture is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and supported by FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society Endowed Professorship.

            The reception that follows the program is made possible by the Warren Lloyd Holtzman Seed Grant, a component of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley.

        For more information, contact Patsy Jones at 561-297-1307 or


About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit .

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