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

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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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Capillary tube of insufficient length

I was wondering if we have a very thin glass tube placed in a tub of liquid and the portion of the tube outside the liquid is lesser than the height to which the liquid can rise because of ...
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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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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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Resources for droplets investigation

I am interested in investigating droplets mechanics. I have read some documents and journal papers related to some aspects of (water) droplets e.g. surface tension, collision with flat surfaces or ...
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Why is exhaling more forceful than inhaling?

By blowing at pencil, a piece of paper, or another object up to fifty centimeters away, I can cause it to move away from me significantly. But I can't move an object toward myself by inhaling sharply ...
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344 views

Could Navier-Stokes equation be derived directly from Boltzmann equation?

I know how to derive Navier-Stokes equations from Boltzmann equation in case where bulk and viscosity coefficients are set to zero. I need only multiply it on momentum and to integrate it over ...
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187 views

Wavy stream of liquid

When pouring a liquid into a glass some streams have a wavy shape, like the one in the following photo: (Couldn't find a better picture, sorry.) What causes the stream to be of such a shape?
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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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343 views

Name of experiment

I'm seeking the name of or reference for an experiment I once saw in a college physics class. At the beginning of one class the instructor repeatedly wound a wiper that spread a blot of some type of ...
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Finding Stagnation Points from the complex potential

I am trying to find the stagnation point of a fluid flow from a complex potential. The complex potential is given by $$\Omega(z) = Uz + \cfrac{m}{2\pi}\ln z.$$ From this I found the streamfunction to ...
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640 views

Fluid Mechanics from a variational principle

It is possible to define a good variational principle to describe Fluid Mechanics? if so, what is the correct treatment of the issue. I guess something like: $$I=\int d^4x \left(\frac{1}{2}\rho ...
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How is the Joukowsky Transform used to calculate the Flow of an Airfoil?

As I read in The Road to Reality by Roger Penrose, the Joukowsky transform $$w(z) = \frac12\left( z + \frac1z \right)$$ after Nikolai Zhukovsky (transcribed in several versions from Никола́й Его́рович ...
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Why is the Reynolds number “the way it is?” Why is its order the way it is?

Why is the Reynolds number “the way it is?” Why is its order the way it is? I'm not sure if this is an appropriate question for this context, but I would like more intuition on this matter and so ...
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How long does it take to equalize pressure of two gas containers?

I'm looking for an equation that will tell me how long it takes for two gases at two different pressures to equalize their pressures. As a more concrete question, Container 1 has gas at pressure P1. ...
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1answer
331 views

Showing symmetry of the stress tensor by applying divergence theorem to $\int\int_{\delta V(t)} \vec{x}\times \vec{t} dS$

I'm currently working through the symmetry of the stress tensor, in relation to viscous flow. I am looking at this by examining the conservation of angular momentum equation for a material volume ...
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722 views

Do wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of air?

It is often said that wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity. But in respect to horizontal wind turbines with airfoil shaped blades this is imho not the case. Wind ...
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2answers
275 views

Basic understanding of stress tensors in a fluid

So, after having spent the last 9 hours attempting to understand the basic tenets of stress tensors in fluids, I can honestly say that I think I know less now than when I began. My questions are ...
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1answer
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Drag force at high speeds [duplicate]

The drag force on a spherical body according to Stokes' law is given by $$F = 6π\mu rv$$ Where $\mu$ is the dynamic viscosity of the fluid, $r$ is the radius of the spherical object, and $v$ is its ...
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1answer
51 views

Noncoalescing and bouncing droplets

if you set a dish filled with water onto a loudspeaker or other vibrator and make vibration, When it oscillates, it is possible to hold small droplets on its surface for a long time. I mean, when you ...
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178 views

What really is “inertial force”?

In Fluid Mechanics we often see the term inertial force when discussing Reynolds number. The problem is, I didn't really get what's this inertial force. Basically, the notion of inertia I have is that ...
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77 views

Calculate Euler equations of fluid dynamics without division?

I'm working on the calculation of the Euler equations with the finite volume method. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to do a division. So I'm wondering if there's a form which does not need a division. ...
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Is there an equation to calculate the average speed of liquid molecules?

I seem to remember from first year physics that we can calculate the RMS speed of a stationary, ideal gas with $v=\sqrt{\frac{3RT}{M}}$. Does a similar equation exist for liquids?
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Terminal velocity of a steel ball in water [closed]

I am investigating on the terminal velocity of steel balls moving in water. I used the balls with different diameters, such as 3.17mm, 6.02mm, etc. And I used a full-filled 1L graduated cylinder. I ...
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1answer
150 views

Isothermal compressibility

How does one get from the thermodynamics definition : $$ \chi_T = -\frac{1}{V} \left(\frac{\partial V}{\partial p}\right)_T$$ to the fluid dynamics definition : $$ \chi_T = \frac{1}{\rho} ...
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Why do rain waves form and what is their connection to the texture of the surface they're on?

When it rains and water flows down an inclined street, ripples may form that are carried along with the current. Here's a picture with an example of what I'm talking about I'd like to know what the ...
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Boundary layer theory in fluids learning resources

I'm trying to understand boundary layer theory in fluids. All I've found are dimensional arguments, order of magnitude arguments, etc... What I'm looking for is more mathematically sound arguments. ...
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1answer
273 views

How deep can a whirlpool descend?

My question is based around comparing the physics of a tornado against, what I imagine/assume to be the marine equivalent of a tornado, that is a whirlpool located either at sea, in a tidal region or ...
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994 views

Differences in the behaviour of pinching a garden hose and closing a tap

Let's say you have a garden hose connected to an ordinary water tap which is opened fully. If you pinch the end of the hose, water leaves the hose at a higher speed (and this can be useful while ...
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Can water pressure ever be high enough to trap gas bubbles or keep them from surfacing?

Can water pressure ever become high enough to trap gas bubbles and/or keep them from surfacing?
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How to relate speed of sound with relative humidity?

I am exploring the idea of measuring the humidity of a space using sound waves, however I am having trouble finding a mathematical relationship between the speed of sound and the humidity level. ...
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1answer
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Why does your car lurch toward an oncoming truck as it passes you?

I notice that the larger the truck the greater the magnitude of the lurch. Can anyone give a physical explanation to this?
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1answer
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Entropy is constant. How to express this equation in terms of pressure and density?

In hydrodynamics of an ideal, non-compressive flow we use 5 variables: pressure $p$, density $\rho$ and velocity field $\mathbf{v}$. So we need 5 equations. Landau's "Hydrodynamics" states that the ...
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244 views

Bubble in a pipeline

I am just thinking about this phenomenon: We have a horizontal pipeline with a flowing liquid, which contains a small bubble of gas. How do the dimensions of this bubble change when it reaches a ...
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Why does blowing on hot coffee cool it down?

And will it cool off faster if you blow across the top of the cup or directly into the coffee? Does it have to do with the fact that when you blow across the top of the cup the velocity of the air ...
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Why does sweetness of coke change after freezing completely

I freeze my coke in a freezer completely to solid and then keep it out to melt and as it melts portion by portion I starts to drink, initially It will be very sweet and later it wont be sweet at all. ...
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About an upside down cup of water against atmosphere pressure

There is an experiment we learned from high school that demonstrated how atmosphere pressure worked. Fill a cup of water and put a cardboard on top of it, then turn it upside-down, the water will not ...
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1answer
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Oscillations of a fluid particle in a stably stratified fluid

Could anyone help me work through the following set of equations: I found these online at http://marian.fsik.cvut.cz/~bodnar/PragueSum_2012/Staquet_1-2.pdf and I'm trying to work through them. I ...
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1answer
241 views

Sideways motion between a vertical launch from a planet and landing [duplicate]

I saw a video some days ago (Hello Kitty in Space) of a schoolgirl successfully launching a balloon into space which later popped and landed ~47 km from launch site. If I vertically launch an object ...
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Fluid Dynamics - Water Bottle Drink Mix: Air or No Air?

If you take an ordinary sized plastic water bottle full of water and pour a packet of powdered (or liquid) drink mix into it, Will shaking the bottle with the cap screwed on to dissolve the mix into ...
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By what mechanism is lift produced on a rotating cylinder in an inviscid flow?

I am taking some introductory fluid dynamic classes, and have become very confused by the Kutta-Joukowski theorem. One of the conclusions that can be derived by applying Kutta-Joukowski is that a ...
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1answer
702 views

Are there good home experiments to get a feel for the behavior of yield-stress liquids?

What common household liquids / foodstuffs show Herschel-Bulkley fluid behavior? I assume tomato soup to be one, since when sloshing it around lightly on a spoon the visible surface moves as one (as ...
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1answer
723 views

What causes surface tension actually? [duplicate]

Surface tension has really made me crazy! Surface tension occurs at the interface of air & water. It is a force per unit length tangential to the intersurface. But what actually causes it? One ...
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1answer
424 views

How to model a rising helium balloon?

I'm trying to model the ascent of a helium filled weather balloon from 0km to 25km altitude. The plan is to eventually use a python script to calculate the time taken to reach 25km. However, I don't ...
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358 views

Will a helicoper which is hovering inside a closed box move with the box when we move it? [duplicate]

I got this micro helicopter to play with, you know that cheap double bladed ones you can find for $25 or so. Anyway last night I was on bed trying to sleep and I got this idea, what if we put the ...
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Analog Hawking radiation

I am confused by most discussions of analog Hawking radiation in fluids (see, for example, the recent experimental result of Weinfurtner et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 021302 (2011), ...
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Is this really a golden ratio spiral?

In this blog post, I found this picture: There are other similar photos: and Does the water really form golden ratio spiral in such cases? Or is the photo just a provocative example, without ...
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Why can't the Navier Stokes equations be derived from first principle physics?

At the 109th UCLA Faculty Research lecture, Seth Putterman gave a talk on Sonoluminescence. During the lecture he emphasized that "The Navier Stokes equations cannot be derived from first principles ...
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When a drop of water falls into water, where do the splashes come from?

When a drop of water falls into a reservoir of water from a high enough altitude, water droplets will splash (image credit): My question: Does the water in those droplets come from the original ...
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Physics of how the cochlea isolates frequencies along its length?

Can anyone explain the separation of frequencies along the basilar membrane of the cochlea please? (equations would be nice) I understand it being related to the resistance caused by fluid in the ...