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

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Strange behaviour of water drops on a heated pan

I did an experiment in my home and I was surprised by the results. I heated a pan without anything in it. After some time it became very hot and I took some water (2 drops) and put it into the pan. It ...
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Friction term in Navier-Stokes equation

The friction term in Navier-Stokes equation assumes that the viscosity coefficients are the same for the longitudinal and transverse directions. This doesn't seem intuitive, because the former is ...
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How do you calculate vortex shedding frequency?

I am attempting to try to find out if there is any effect of Von Karman vortices on a group of wind speed readings where it is presumed that due to a mountain nearby the data collection spot Von ...
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Coffee Straw Physics

When I put my little, cylindrical coffee straw into my coffee, the liquid immediately rises about half a centimeter up the straw without provocation. This is also the amount of coffee that the surface ...
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water flow in a sink

When one turns on the tap in the kitchen, a circle is observable in the water flowing in the sink. The circle is the boundary between laminar and turbulent flow of the water (maybe this is the wrong ...
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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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Can air bubbles sink at extreme depths? [duplicate]

I was thinking earlier about air bubbles in water. if you had a bubble of air (say in a balloon) then as you take it down in water the bubble shrinks because of the pressure and because it is ...
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458 views

What is the microscopic picture for warm air rising?

The usual explanation for warm fluids rising past cooler ones is that the warmer fluid has a lower density. I'm trying to understand what this looks like at a molecular scale. The density seems to ...
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161 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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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 ...
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Could some design of a propeller be used in both air and water?

Propellers in water are smaller in diameter. They also move more slowly. On the other hand, aircraft propellers are larger in diameter, have narrower blades and operate at very high speeds. An ...
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993 views

Why is a beam reach the fastest point of sail on modern sailboats?

I've heard that a beam reach (perpendicular to the wind) is the fastest point of sail on modern sailboats, but I haven't heard a satisfying explanation of the physics behind the claim. Triangular ...
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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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212 views

How do subgrid-scale parametrisations in climate models work?

Global Circulation Models typically have grids of 100-300km on a side. There are obviously lots of atmospheric processes that happen at smaller scales than this. Convection, cloud formation, the ...
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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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Riemann invariants…Any physical interpretation?

I am really new to the CFD simulation, and started some simple algorithms recently. I then got introduced to the Riemann Invariants. Can any one provide some physical interpretation? Also, why is ...
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What are the limitations of Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics?

I've been excited by some of the possibilities of Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH). I have seen some very exciting demonstrations of their use in 3D graphics, but I am wondering how well the ...
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How does a 1,000 mph car maintain vertical stability with tiny front wings?

Formula 1 cars have wings to help keep them on the road during cornering, they don't need them whilst moving in a straight line. And that's ok , they "only" travel at 220 mph. In a different speed ...
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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 ...
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Could the phenomenon of vortex bursting be exploited to reduce wake turbulence?

One of the classic stories in the annals of aerospace engineering is the development (and subsequent redesign) of the F-18 and its Leading Edge Extensions (LEX) due to fatigue problems, problems that ...
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Zigzag flow of water along a vertical glass window

I've observed this behavior many times. When it rains, the rainwater will form vertical channels along a glass window. The flow of water is mostly confined within these vertical channels and the ...
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How do I enforce the no-slip boundary condition in time dependent incompressible pipe flow?

This is a technical problem which must have been solved already. It won't be in beginners textbooks but there should be a solution somewhere. I welcome reading suggestions. Maybe someone with ...
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Why does the lake surface appear darker in some areas?

What causes the surface of the lake to appear darker in some places? Firstly, I know that it's not fishes that cause it. Secondly, the dark surfaces move from time to time and thus are not ...
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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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Why do non-Newtonian fluids go hard when having a sudden force exerted on them?

You can dip your hands into a bowl of non-Newtonian fluid but if you are to punch it, it goes hard all of a sudden and is more like a solid than anything else. What is it about a non-Newtonian fluid ...
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Why is there a space between the flame and the nozzle on the space shuttle?

Why is there some space between the flame and the nozzle on the space shuttle? (see above picture)
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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 ...
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How to make the bubbles in my soda drink last longer?

I would like to make the bubbles in my soda drink last longer. For example, one good thing to do is to keep the bottle shut when you don't drink. But what else I can do? Should I try to minimize the ...
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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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Hydrodynamics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics and equations of states

Why is it that in non-equilibrium hydrodynamic modelling, e.g. when the solution is time dependent, people use equations of state that are derived from equilibrium considerations (i.e. the ideal gas ...
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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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Reynolds number and inertial force

The Reynolds number is defined as the ratio of ´inertial´ forces to viscous forces. $$ Re = \frac{\text{Inertial Forces}}{\text{Viscous Forces}}$$ Now, viscous forces make sense to me. They are ...
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How does one derive the equation for the speed of sound?

In my acoustics books I see $$c^2 = \frac{\mathrm{d}P}{\mathrm{d}\rho}$$ where $c$ is the speed of sound, $P$ is the pressure and $\rho$ is the density. Where does this equation come from? In my ...
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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 ...
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Why don't we talk about angular momentum at all in fluid mechanics?

People usually talk about similar (or maybe not?) things like vorticity or enstrophy in fluid mechanics, but no one talks about angular momentum, why?
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What is Relativistic Navier-Stokes Equation Through Einstein Notation?

Navier-Stokes equation is non-relativistic, what is relativistic Navier-Stokes equation through Einstein notation?
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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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In terms of scale, where does the concept of Reynold's number cease to have meaning?

The Reynolds number is classically described in terms of pipe geometries but its use has also been usefully extended to other more complex surface geometries to predict transitional flow behavior. But ...
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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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How is the water meniscus at the edge of a capillary tube

Suppose we have a capillary tube in which water can rise to a height of x cm. If we dip the tube such that the height above the surface is less than x, then how will the water meniscus be at the edge ...
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General procedure for solving fluid flow problems

Could someone help me devise a short series of steps for solving an arbitrary fluid flow problem? Often the most difficult part of these problems is just figuring out what path to take in solving ...
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Where can I check a solution to 3D Navier Stokes?

A few years ago I developed a solution to the Navier-Stokes equations and as of yet have not been able to locate a similar version of the solution. I would like to know if anyone has seen a solution ...
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Does irrotational imply inviscid?

Let us consider a 2D irrotational flow, such that $\nabla\times\boldsymbol u =\boldsymbol 0$. Defining the stream function such that $\boldsymbol u =\nabla\times\psi \boldsymbol n$ where $\boldsymbol ...
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Water under high pressure

If you were to sink a container to the bottom of a deep ocean and seal it there, then bring it up to the surface, would it retain its pressure? The answer for a gas is obviously yes, but what about ...
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Pendulum with water dripping out

Consider a pendulum, consisting of a string of length $l$ tied to a ball of negligible mass and radius $r$. The bob is filled with water, which has density $d$, and the pendulum is given a small push ...
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What is the curve described by the water of a wet spinning tennis ball?

I'm looking at this picture from this site and I'm curious about what is the curve described by the water. The involutes $$x=r\left[\cos(\theta+n)+\theta\sin(\theta+n)\right]\\ ...
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Does the wind gust over the ocean?

It is easy to observe that on a windy day, the wind does not blow for several hours at constant speed, then gradually subside. Instead, on a time scale of seconds or tens of seconds, there are ...
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Do de Laval nozzles have to be asymmetric?

All pictures of de Laval nozzles I've seen have an hourglass shape where the convergent section is shorter than the divergent section. Is this necessary to attain supersonic exhaust velocities, or ...
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Phase Space Flow

Phase space flow shares characteristics with fluid flow such as incompressibility by Liouville's theorem. Extending the similarities one might be curious, does phase space flow have a characteristic ...
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What part of the fan blade actually does the noise generation?

I'm trying to identify the sources of noise in spinning fan blades and what causes them. Is the noise only generated by the lead edge of the blade 'cutting through' air? and different parts of it ...