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

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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 ...
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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. ...
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651 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

Book recommendations for fluid dynamics self study

I have my bachelors degree in engineering science: computer science, option electrotechnic. I have a good understanding of basic mechanics and dynamics, calculus (differential equations). The books I'...
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1answer
2k views

Why do vapour cones form around jet fighters?

Apparently this phenomenon has nothing to do with jets breaking the sound barrier and has something to do with the Prandtl-Glauert singularity as described on Wikipedia. But, the Wikipedia article isn'...
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1answer
868 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 inside....
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
166 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 ...
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1answer
544 views

Can a hovering helicopter travel half the globe in 12 hours? [duplicate]

Suppose we have a helicopter that is able to stay stationary in flight for extended periods of time. If such a helicopter stayed at point A in the sky for 12 hours straight, would it reach the other ...
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1answer
922 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 ...
3
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1answer
308 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, ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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What is the mystery of turbulence?

One of the great unsolved problems in physics is turbulence but I'm not too clear what the mystery is. Does it mean that the Navier-Stokes equations don't have any turbulent phenomena even if we solve ...
12
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3answers
700 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, ...
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12answers
16k 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 ...
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2answers
13k views

Conservation Vs Non-conservation Forms of conservation Equations

I understand mathematically how one can obtain the conservation equations in both the conservative $${\partial\rho\over\partial t}+\nabla\cdot(\rho \textbf{u})=0$$ $${\partial\rho{\textbf{u}}\over\...
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2answers
8k 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 ...
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3answers
6k 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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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What does the Reynolds Number of a flow represent physically?

What does the Reynolds Number of a flow represent physically? I am having trouble understanding the meaning and the utility of the Reynolds number for a certain flow, could someone please tell me how ...
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1answer
4k 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, ...
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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?
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262 views

What is the symmetry associated with the local particle number conservation law for fluid?

According to Noether's theorem, every continuous symmetry (of the action) yields a conservation law. In fluid, there is a local particle number conservation law, which is $$\partial{\rho}/\partial{t}+...
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
945 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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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. -...
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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 ...
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4answers
11k views

What equation of state is needed for liquid states?

I'm familiar with the ideal gas law $$PV=nRT$$ but I don't think it applies to liquids like water. If I'm wrong, please correct me! If I'm right, then what equation of state applies to liquids such ...
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3answers
453 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. ...
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Hit a bottle of beer on the top with another causes the first to spit all the gas, why?

So, on the other day me and my colleges were discussing the following phenomena: Pick two open bottles of beer. With the bottom of the first, hit the second on the bottleneck, in the following way: ...
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6answers
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Do gases have phonons?

A phonon is a quantized unit of sound; they are encountered when quantizing lattice vibrations in solids. Now, even an ideal gas supports sound waves, but in such a case, interactions between atoms ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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?
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828 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
282 views

How can a droplet of liquid float on the surface of the same liquid?

This can happen during the rain, or when pouring water. Sometimes small (1-2 mm) droplets of water float on the surface for some time (a few seconds) before coalescing with the big body of water. A ...
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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 ...
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1answer
299 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 ...
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2answers
394 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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3answers
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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 ...
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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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2answers
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How do rudders work?

It is possible for a boat to use rudder to make a U-turn while coasting (moving by inertia), although it would lose some speed. How exactly do boats trade a portion of magnitude of the initial ...
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4answers
673 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.
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1answer
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What is the shear stress of a fluid?

One book defines the shear stress $\tau$ of a (Newtonian) fluid as $$\tau = \eta \frac{\partial v}{\partial r} $$ where $\eta$ is the viscosity. There is not much context, so I've made some guesses. ...
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3answers
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Apparent paradox in equation of continuity

Equation of continuity says us that if we insert some fluid in a tube, the same amount of fluid will come out from the other end. If we make a small hole in a hose pipe, water will come out with a ...
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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 ...