What was the danger to the wheels?
The answer is in this chapter.
The current land-speed record was set in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada in 1997 by the jet-powered car Thrust SSC. The car’s speed was 1222 km/h in one direction and 1233 km/h in the opposite direction. Both speeds exceeded the speed of sound at that location (1207 km/h), and you can see that the car was supersonic (faster than sound) by the distortions above the car in the photograph. The distortions were due to shock waves produced in the air by the car, just as shock waves are produced by supersonic aircraft. Setting the land-speed record was obviously very dangerous for many reasons. One of them had to do with the car’s wheels.
As we discussed in Chapter 10, physics includes the study of rotation. Arguably, the most important application of that physics is in the rolling motion of wheels and wheel-like objects. This applied physics has long been used. For example, when the prehistoric people of Easter Island moved their gigantic stone statues from the quarry and across the island, they dragged them over logs acting as rollers. Much ...