The quantitative study of how fluids (gases and liquids) move.

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What is going on in front of and behind a fan?

Why is it that when you drop paper behind a fan, it drops, and is not blown/sucked into the fan, whereas if you drop paper in front of a fan, it is blown away?
5
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3answers
2k views

Classical Limit of Schrodinger Equation

There is a well-known argument that if we write the wavefunction as $\psi = A \exp(iS/\hbar)$, where $A$ and $S$ are real, and substitute this into the Schrodinger equation and take the limit $h \to ...
7
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1answer
565 views

How does the divergence theorem justify the integral form of the continuity equation?

I vaguely understand the continuity equation (at least its integral form), but I don't really understand the differential form of the continuity equation. I'm having trouble understanding how to ...
8
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4answers
11k views

How does a hole's size affect the distance that water will squirt

I took a bucket, drilled 2 different sized holes on the side near the bottom and filled it with water. The stream of water the proceeded from the larger hole traveled further than the stream from the ...
9
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4answers
3k views

How can I understand a Vortex Tube and its efficiency?

A Vortex Tube takes a pressurized input stream, most typically of a gas, and creates two output streams with a temperature differential. Apparently, it has been described as a Maxwell's Demon. Both ...
6
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1answer
757 views

Is there something like the Poynting vector for hydraulic circuits?

The Poynting vector is a representation of the energy flux in electromagnetics, showing the amount and direction of power flow at different points in space. In electric circuits, the energy is not ...
5
votes
2answers
366 views

What happened here in this Taylor-Couette Flow experiment?

I came across this video of Taylor-Couette Flow on YouTube. Originally I was looking for a visualization of the wavy Taylor vortices induced by the angular motion of the inner cylinder. However, I ...
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0answers
77 views

The Optics of the Vortex (in Water): why there is a bright ring also in reversed flow?

This question is closely related to this one; The optics of vortex (in water): why there is a bright ring? In this case "physics girl" gives somehow an plausible explanation, and it's only debatable ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does a nuclear explosion have directionality?

It just occurred to me that almost all images I've seen of the (in)famous mushroom cloud show a vertical column rising perpendicular to the ground and a horizontal planar ring parallel to the ground. ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Would a solution to the Navier-Stokes Millennium Problem have any practical consequences?

I know the problem is especially of interest to mathematicians, but I was wondering if a solution to the problem would have any practical consequences. Upon request: this is the official problem ...
7
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2answers
611 views

Problem understanding basic sail mechanics

I am trying to understand the physics behind a single sailed boat. I have read the following questions Sailing against the wind. Is this a fair model? What exactly is the 'lift' of a ...
4
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1answer
114 views

Stationary waves on a laminar liquid flow near collision with a surface [duplicate]

Look at the picture below I know about plateau rayleigh instability. And my opinion is that the reason of this phenomena is plateau rayleigh instability. But there's a question, in the picture ...
2
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2answers
146 views

Show that the boundary layers diffuse out from the plate with speed $\sqrt{\frac{\nu}{t}}$ [closed]

I was wondering if somebody would be able to help me with this problem. I know how to solve it using dimension arguments but I'm unsure what is meant by transformation techniques. Any help would be ...
0
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3answers
139 views

Fluid filled harmonic oscillator

A vessel (preferably circular) filled with water is accelerating unidirectionally such that the level of water is higher on one end than the other. What I want to know is that if the vessel is ...
9
votes
1answer
862 views

Why doesn't a bus blow due to internal pressure?

When one travels in a bus, if he's sitting at any window, he will feel that the air is coming inside. If someone is standing at the open door of the bus, he'll also feel that the air is coming ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do galaxies and water going down a plug hole spin?

We all experience things spinning, whether it's water down a drain, the earth on its axis, planets round the sun, or stars in a galaxy - even electrons round an atom. But why is spin so common in ...
8
votes
2answers
953 views

Why water in the sink follow a curved path?

When you fill the sink with water and then allow the water to be drained, the water forms a vortex.. And then it starts to follow a curved path downwards by effects of gravity.. Why this phenomena ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Deuterium density in seawater

I heard today that deuterium for nuclear fusion could be extracted from the Oceans, in which it is present in "heavy water." I heard this claim: "Deuterium is distributed uniformly with Ocean ...
5
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2answers
449 views

When water is about to boil

Have ever noticed? When water is about to boil, no matters the kettle, there is some sound I have no idea where it comes from, sometimes long before it boils. Is there any explanation for this ...
4
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1answer
157 views

In a fluid, why are the shear stresses $\tau_{xy}$ and $\tau_{yx}$ equal?

In solid bodies, $\tau_{xy}=\tau_{yx}$ makes sense to me because the volume elements "hold together" and can not spin against each other and therefore the resulting torque from the shear stresses has ...
3
votes
1answer
290 views

Euler Equations, Sod shock tube & conservation

Conservation of momentum? I am considering the Euler equations in conservative form and solving the Sod shock tube problem I have written a Godunov finite volume type solver. It solves for density ρ, ...
3
votes
1answer
903 views

Change in appearance of liquid drop due to gravity

A liquid drop is spherical in shape due to surface tension. But why does it appear as a vertical line under the free-fall due to gravity? (E.g. During a rain - falling raindrop) Is there a specified ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Are the hypotheses of the Bernoulli equation satisfied for a bird or airplane wing at low Mach number?

A previous question by David Zaslavsky was a request for a broad, "how things work" type of explanation of the lift of an airfoil. The answers given there are enlightening, but don't address a more ...
12
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3answers
667 views

Occurrence of turbulence in fluid dynamics from the equations of motion?

How can it be shown that turbulence occurs in fluid dynamics? I think people imply that it develops because of the $\text{rot}$ terms in the equations of motion, i.e. the Navier-Stokes equations, ...
51
votes
12answers
15k views

How long a straw could Superman use?

To suck water through a straw, you create a partial vacuum in your lungs. Water rises through the straw until the pressure in the straw at the water level equals atmospheric pressure. This ...
9
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2answers
12k views

Conservation Vs Non-conservation Forms of conservation Equations

I understand mathematically how one can obtain the conservation equations in both the conservative $${\partial\rho\over\partial t}+\nabla\cdot(\rho \textbf{u})=0$$ ...
9
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2answers
7k views

Why do ice cubes stick together or to the edges of a drinking glass?

I was drinking iced-water from a drinking glass (made of glass) at a restaurant yesterday when I was taking a drink, I noticed that there is very little ice water coming out and then suddenly, the ice ...
39
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7answers
40k views

How can two seas not mix?

How can two seas not mix? I think this is commonly known and the explanation everyone gives is "because they have different densities". What I get is that they eventually will mix, but this process ...
21
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3answers
5k views

Why does the sound pitch increase on every consecutive tick at the bottom of a filled cup of coffee?

Since I don't know the proper physical terms for this, I describe it in everyday English. The following has kept me wondering for quite some time and so far I haven't found a reasonable explanation. ...
8
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3answers
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How is viscosity described on the molecular level?

What is the 'molecular' origin of the viscosity? The molecular origin of elasticity is almost clear for me: at the very bottom the 'elasticity' comes from the attraction and repulsion between atoms ...
11
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4answers
2k views

How does a steady wind flow generate sound?

When a wind blow through sharp edge, say, edge of a paper, you can see the vibration of the paper and hear the sound. For this type of oscillation, it should be a damped oscillation with external ...
19
votes
2answers
6k views

How does a sponge “suck” up water against gravity?

If I take a sponge and place it in a shallow dish of water (i.e. water level is lower than height of sponge), it absorbs water until the sponge is wet, including a portion of the sponge above the ...
10
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1answer
4k views

Fluid in a rotating cylinder

I have been wondering why a fluid in a rotating container has a parabola shape? Is it possible to prove this mathematically?
7
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1answer
3k views

Is there an analytical solution for fluid flow in a square duct?

I couldn't find one but assumed it must exist. Tried to find it on the back of an envelope, but got to an ugly differential equation I can't solve. I'm assuming a square duct of infinite length, ...
4
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2answers
905 views

Platform diving: How deep does one go into the water?

I am a platform diver. I am trying to figure out how deep in the water I go depending on which platform I dive from. The platforms are 1m, 3m, 5m, 7.5m and 10m above the water surface. By ignoring ...
20
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3answers
24k views

Why does water pouring from a glass sometimes travel down the side of the glass?

If you have a glass of water, say, three quarters full and you pour it at an angle of say, $45^{\circ}$ with respect to the the table, the water comes out of the glass and goes directly down towards ...
20
votes
4answers
920 views

Why does the fundamental mode of a recorder disappear when you blow harder?

I have a simple recorder, like this: When I cover all the holes and blow gently, it blows at about 550 Hz, but when I blow more forcefully, it jumps an octave and blows 1100 Hz. What's the ...
13
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2answers
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How to estimate the Kolmogorov length scale

My understanding of Kolmogorov scales doesn't really go beyond this poem: Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity, and little whirls have lesser whirls and so on to viscosity. ...
11
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1answer
3k views

Why exactly does a boomerang return back to the thrower?

I was always intrigued by the phenomena that govern the returning back of a boomerang to the thrower. Even if it is dependent on various factors such as velocity, aerodynamics, wind resistance and ...
10
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2answers
2k views

How much of the forces when entering water is related to surface tension?

When an object enters water with high velocity, (like in Why is jumping into water from high altitude fatal?), most of it's kinetic energy will be converted, eg to accelerate water, deform the object ...
8
votes
3answers
428 views

finding equation of a water droplet

I have a water droplet which is falling down through its gravity. I've supposed that my droplet is an ellipsoid and I want to find the equation that represents this ellipsoid in XYZ coordinate system. ...
10
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5answers
15k views

How far can water rise above the edge of a glass?

When you fill a glass with water, water forms a concave meniscus with constant contact angle $\theta$ (typically $\theta=20^\circ$ for tap water): Once you reach the top of the glass, the water-air ...
10
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4answers
65k views

Why can't helicopters reach mount everest?

Is there a reason why people can't just take the helicopter to mount Everest? Why is it that helicopters can't reach that high?
10
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6answers
815 views

Tsunami dampening mechanisms

Encouraged by the zeitgeist let me ask the following: Is it feasible (now or in the future) to build systems a certain distance of a vulnerable coastline which can serve to dampen a tsunami before it ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Why aren't airplanes like golf balls?

Ok this is a silly question but here it goes Although it is good to have a laminar flow of the air around the object for low drag but the laminar flow is prone the phenomena called separation (sounds ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is pressure in a liquid the same in all directions?

I'd like answers both in the more intuitive side an on the more precise side. Thinking of water as "cubes" of water, for example, would allow pressure in the z axis to be independent of the y or x ...
5
votes
1answer
284 views

meteorite-like impact of a drop of yogurt

When I throw a drop of Yogurt (through spoon) into a dish of Yogurt, it caused something like a meteor hitting the earth and something occurs similar to the place a meteor hitting the earth(Barringer ...
5
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3answers
3k views

When is a flow vortex free?

To solve problems in fluid dynamics one states often the assumption that the flow is vortex free i.e. $rot(u) = 0$ It is a basic assumption which is needed for potential flow problems etc.. My ...
4
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1answer
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What's the shear rate in a turbulent flow?

The explanation of shear rate in laminar flow is straightforward: We imagine small layers of fluid that glide on each other. Now, in turbulent flow, this does not work as there are no layers. I'm not ...
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4answers
617 views

Why does a bubble take a spherical shape?

I suspect this has something to do with thermodynamics and the isoperimetric inequality and I'm interested in a mathematical derivation of this result.