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

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Water pressure in free fall

The increasing water pressure as you go deeper is generally explained in terms of the weight of the water column above the observation point pressing down. The question, then, is what would happen if ...
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Deriving shallow water equations from Euler's equations

I would like to derive the one-dimensional shallow water equations from Eulers's equations. This works perfectly for the conservation of mass. Especially the meaning of the longitudinal fluid ...
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Why does pressure act as a source for the gravitational field?

I'm asking for a qualitative explanation if there is one. My own answer doesn't work. I would have guessed it's because when a gas has pressure the kinetic energy adds to the rest mass of a given ...
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299 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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Effect of water pressure on sinking objects

As I understand, water pressure increases as we go towards bottom of the ocean. So if an object* is thrown into water and it starts sinking with some speed, does the sinking object's acceleration ...
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Solving the Young-Laplace equation for arbitrary axisymmetric geometry

Say I have a non-ellipsoidal soap bubble and I want to numerically analyse the pressure in the inner lobe of this bubble here: The Young Laplace equation gives the pressure difference across a ...
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589 views

Why do liquids separate in space?

I've seen videos of people in space (on ISS) who squeeze a bottle or something and liquid comes out, it then separates into smaller balls. Why is this surely it should stay pretty much together ...
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Why can, or can not, a perfectly incompressible fluid exist?

Water is normally assumed to be an incompressible fluid - for example in the context of calculations involving water pressure. I wondered whether that is strictly true, or an approximation? Later I ...
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686 views

Why does a container with fluid make different sounds at different fluid levels?

Have you ever noticed that when you are filling a container with fluid. As it approaches the top, it makes a different sound? You can tell by listening when your about to reach the top. Why is this?
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624 views

How does Earth's interior dynamo work?

I'm interested in getting a basic physical understanding of how Earth's magnetic field is generated. I understand that it's a "dynamo" type of effect, driven by convection currents in the molten outer ...
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758 views

When does a pot not spill?

What shape for the edges of a pot and what surface properties are best for a tea pot not to spill? Apart from the cross-section from the side, how does the radius of curvature as seen from above play ...
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Is it possible to accelerate air to supersonic speeds? What would it look like?

The speed of sound is the rate that disturbances in air propagate through it. Is it possible to have a wind that itself is moving at supersonic speeds relative to stationary winds around it? Or ...
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Why the field strength tensor for locomotion at low Reynolds number may be written like that?

I've been studying locomotion at low Reynolds number for some time now and it has been a quite tough problem. I've already asked two questions about the problem here, and now there is this question ...
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Flow of liquid among branches

If water is flowing through big pipe is branched into 4 branches of small pipe. Lets say the flow is around 4 m/sec. I have the following questions: What will be the flow rate in each of the ...
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544 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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2answers
246 views

Is Magnus effect a corollary of Bernoulli principle?

Magnus effect is commonly explained using Bernoulli principle. However, taking the lift on a rotating cylinder as an example, the velocity difference is caused by the extra work done by the rotating ...
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1answer
587 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 ...
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4answers
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Calculate water flow rate through orifice

I'm not very good with fluid physics, and need some help. Imagine the following setup with water contained in-front of a wall with an opening on the bottom: How do I calculate the water flow $Q$?. ...
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2answers
244 views

What is the theoretical justification for a fluid flow's being irrotational?

I am not a fluid dynamicist, and I really just began thinking about this problem as my curiousity drew me into building an answer for the question What really allows airplanes to fly?. It is very ...
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135 views

Nonlinear waves and shock formation

In the cases of nonlinear acoustics, why is shock formation unlikely when the dispersion is strong when compared to the nonlinearity of the wave?
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293 views

How to compute the speed necessary for an airplane to fly?

I give some physics lessons to a friend. She asked me a question that I am unable to answer. Could you help me ? A plane has a weight of $2\times10^6$kg. The surface of the wing is $1200 \text{m}^2$. ...
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What do bullet trails really look like?

In the movie The Matrix, during "bullet time" sequences, bullets are shown trailing evenly-spaced refracting blobs: ...
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1answer
4k views

How far will water squirt out from a hole in a can?

Say you have a bottle of water filled up to a height H. A small hole is drilled in its side at a height d, so that water squirts out. The squirting water travels in an arc as it falls, covering some ...
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43 views

Interaction between body and fluid

I'm trying to understand locomotion of bodies in fluids with low Reynolds number and I'm having a hard time to understand the interactions between the body and the fluid. Suppose $D\subset ...
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1answer
257 views

Why is the dynamic pressure not a vector quantity? [duplicate]

I understand that static pressure is a scalar quantity as it acts equally in all directions, then by the same reasoning dynamic pressure should be a vector quantity as it only can be measured by ...
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234 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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How much water must flow trough canal to maintain a constant water deep?

In order to maintain a constant water deep in canal, how much water must flow trought the pipe ? As shown on picture, canal have a rectangular shape. I don't know if canal length have an influence. ...
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some hints/introductions/textbooks for LBM(Lattice Boltzmann methods) fluid simulation?

I come from a computer science background and I want to learn details about LBM in fluid simulation. I have been searching around for a concise tutorial that tells me how LBM is used to solve a ...
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172 views

Derivation of Archimedes' principle

It is my understanding that upthrust from a liquid on a body is due to pressure difference on the top of the body and the bottom of the body. How, then, is this fact used in order to derive/work out ...
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61 views

Pressure coefficient on fluid mechanics

I have to solve numerically a fluid mechanics problem. I have an airfoil with a flap deployed downwards, under the airfoil I have set a mesh with some nodes. I have already computed stream function ...
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1answer
291 views

Capillary action in a slanted tube

Suppose there is a slanted capillary tube and a fluid rises in it. Why does the fluid rise to the same vertical height as when the tube is perfectly vertical? If I'm right surface tension force ...
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Physics behind Water drops during falling from a tap

what is physics behind Water drops during falling from a tap. water drop animation A drop or droplet is a small column of liquid, bounded completely or almost completely by free surfaces. Why Water ...
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1answer
295 views

What equations/constants were used to calculate the Kármán Line for Earth?

I am interested in how the original value of ~100 km was calculated for the Kármán line of earth. What equations and constants would need to be used to reproduce this value? Note: By constants, ...
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1answer
79 views

How does a piezoelectric drop generator work?

In a piezoelectric drop generator used for generating a single droplet which is 0.5 mm in diameter, there is a piezo-actuated brass diaphragm to generate droplets (for example here or here). What is ...
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609 views

Could a fish in a sealed ball, move the ball?

If you had a glass ball filled with water, completely sealed and containing a fish, could the fish move the ball?
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675 views

What can wavy patterned sand tell about the Fluid that formed it?

Sand on the bottom of the ocean as well as sand on the low-tide beach often forms wavy patterns. Do the parameters of these wavy patterns have any relation to the water and waves that formed them? If ...
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222 views

Sailing against the wind. Is this a fair model?

I was ruminating the explanations about how boats can sail against the wind (or "into the wind"), and wondered if one could devise a simple mechanical model without hydrodynamics involved. Imagine a ...
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1answer
208 views

Distance a curveball travels?

I've seen some discussions regarding the movement of a spinning object, say a curveball. However, all have been largely qualitative. I was wondering if anyone has seen or worked through a ...
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Is it possible for wind to break the sound barrier?

I understand that in nature wind would never get high enough, but I am just curious as to whether physics would allow this to occur or not.
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393 views

Home experiment question

I want to make a home experiment where I roughly explain the phenomenon of water remaining in a straw if you close one end of the straw. So I'm thinking that the weight of the water is pulling it ...
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A book sits on a table. What is the net force of air pressure?

An elementary problem asks, A book is at rest on a table top. In what direction is the net force of air pressure on the book? Is this a meaningful question, and if so, what's the answer? If ...
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782 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 ...
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Non-Newtonian Fluid Stop a Bullet?

I just saw a YouTube video about Non-Newtonian fluids where people could actually walk on the surface of the fluid but if they stood still, they'd sink. Cool stuff. Now, I'm wondering: Could a pool ...
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541 views

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
781 views

wind vs air resistance

I'm wondering which offers more resistance: pulling an object at some speed through air, or holding the object steady against wind at the same speed. I think initially people would think same ...
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276 views

Integrating pressure over a surface

Consider the 2D airfoil below. In engineering (and maybe physics) you will often see something like the following as an expression for the pressure force acting on a surface (in this case a curve ...
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What does the Froude number represent?

While reading on Wikipedia, I read the following The Froude number is defined as: $$\mathrm{Fr} = \frac{v}{c}$$ where $v$ is a characteristic velocity, and $c$ is a characteristic water ...
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443 views

Can wind blowing on smooth water create speckle interference patterns?

On a calm smooth lake, or even a large rain puddle, I've seen transient rough patches on the surface suddenly appear and disappear, and sometimes move across the water some distance before ...
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3answers
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atmospheric phenomenon? What causes condensation trails to converge?

This air plane just caught my eye. Two contrails apparently are flowing backward, slightly off-centered and then ultimately converge, giving the overall shape of a very narrow rhomboid parallelogram, ...
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How do Kolmogorov scales work in shear thinning fluis?

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. ...