Application of the laws of physics to motocross and off road motorcycling as a medium for physics education

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Strand, Timothy T.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Physics and Astronomy
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As an attempt to stimulate student interest teachers should be tuned into the students culture, pursuits, trials, etc. Several studies have been conducted on the physics of motorcycles. Instructors of physics could utilize this information to illustrate the laws of physics in the classroom and create forms of student evaluation using motorcycles as the medium. However these applications are almost exclusively looked at from the perspective of the motorcycle on hard surfaces. My research will narrow in on an instruction model of the laws physics involved in riding and racing a motorcycle of road. This is an area that appears to be lacking especially considering the developments in riding techniques, styles, competitions, and machines which many students have developed great interest in. The following is an outline of the items of particular focus;1. Traction (Friction)2. Race Starts (Force, Work, Power, Acceleration)3. Turning (Angular Acceleration, Normal Forces, Gravitational Forces) 4. Jumping (Projectile Motion, Gyroscope)5. Suspension Systems (Newton's Laws of Motion, Hooke's Law) 6. Engine Cooling Systems (Thermodynamics)The goal is to develop a unique basic physics course utilizing off road motorcycling as the medium for as many areas as possible.