Detail on a tire and car (Helio Castroneves) after the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500
Detail on a tire and car (Helio Castroneves) after the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500

Things You Thought You Knew – Why Size Matters

Sarah Stierch, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

What’s the fastest a car can accelerate? Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly explore goal size to goal scoring ratios, the doppler effect, and the maximum acceleration for a car.

Why isn’t there more scoring in soccer? Is the goal not big enough? We break down the math of available scoring area versus the size of the ball. Why do hockey games score more despite a smaller goal size?

Learn about doppler shift and the noise objects make as they come towards you and go away from you. What causes a sonic boom? We discuss different frequencies and the experiments by Cristian Doppler that gave the doppler shift its name.

What’s the highest possible acceleration for a car? We go over the physics of how a car accelerates and the interplay between air, gravity, and friction. How fast can an object in free fall go from 0-60? Plus, find out the cool ways that race cars hack physics to accelerate faster.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

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