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

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Why is the answer to this diffusion example unintuitive?

Imagine a linear decrease in concentration from left to right. Using Fick's first law, $J = -D \frac{d \psi}{d x}$ for all x, from left to right, we have the same flux amount because the decrease is ...
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2k views

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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973 views

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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308 views

Why does bad smell follow people (assuming they are not the source)?

When you are sitting in a room where there is a source of bad smell, such as somebody smoking or some other source of bad smell, it is often a solution to simply move to another spot where bad smell ...
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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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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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495 views

Viscosity/Entropy ratio and unitary evolution in quantum gravity

Calculations of the shear viscosity of the quark-gluon plasma (QGP), observed in heavy ions collisions, are performed via the AdS/CFT correspondence [ref1]. One finds that the shear viscosity of the ...
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68 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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176 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 ...
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470 views

Hydrostatic pressure on a teapot spout

The phenomenon where water flows on the outside side of a teapot spout is named "The teapot effect", and occurs due to a difference in pressure between water and the atmosphere. Consider the image of ...
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835 views

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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1k views

Drag on a spinning ball in fluid

I am a physics newbie (high school level) and I am wondering what happens when a spherical object is spinning on the spot in a bunch of gas (no gravity here, just an imaginary physics sandbox). Am I ...
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67 views

Intuitive explanation of Poiseuille's law — why $r^4$?

According to Poiseuille's law, the effective resistance of a tube is inversely proportional to the fourth power of its radius (as given by the following equation). $$R = \frac{ 8 \eta \Delta x}{\pi ...
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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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1answer
219 views

How to derive a physical model of temperature above the earth surface?

At a point on the surface of the Earth, if I go straight "up" a distance $z$ (radially outward from the Earth), I'd observe a temperature profile $T(z)$. The conventional wisdom from the meteorology ...
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1answer
381 views

Free surface of inviscid fluid flow

The following problem seems like it should have a definite solution, but I've been thinking about it for months and haven't got anywhere. It might not be a well-posed problem, but if it isn't I'd ...
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461 views

Analogue of Princeton Companion to Mathematics for Physics?

I would like to know if there are compendiums much like the Princeton Companion to Mathematics for physics (especially classical physics: fluid mechanics, elasticity theory, Hamiltonian formalism of ...
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4answers
3k views

Polar vs non-polar fluid

In the book "Vectors, Tensors, and the Basic Equations of Fluid Mechanics" by Rutherford Aris I read the following: If the fluid is such that the torques within it arise only as the moments of ...
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1answer
773 views

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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441 views

Would a fish in a sealed ball swim normally?

This question led me to wonder whether swimming would be the same experience for a fish in a full, sealed ball as it is normally. If the fish is about 7cm from the walls of the tank, a pressure wave ...
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207 views

If I bury a cylinder (top end sealed) in sand, how much force do I need to pull it out?

Let's say the cylinder has a diameter equal to its height of $25\;\mathrm{cm}$ the cylinder is sealed at the top and filled with sand the cylinder is also buried in the sand at sea at a depth of ...
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1answer
142 views

Why will two bubbles floating on water surface attract each other?

Two identical bubbles floating on water surface will form clumps, according to the "cheerio effect". But what's the detail about the force? It's necessary to calculate the shape of water surface, in ...
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421 views

Question about the Bernouilli equation

There are some things I encountered, studying the Bernouilly equation, that I don't understand. I was studying in the following book: ...
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144 views

Why is there no UV catastrophe (divergence) in turbulence?

I have just read that as the Reynolds number is increased, the separation of macroscopic and microscopic scales increases and that this also means that there is no UV catastrophy (or equivalently UV ...
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242 views

In a column of rising hot air, is the velocity higher at the top?

Since the movement of the air is induced by buoyancy, i. e. there's a constant force acting on the air, so I would expect the velocity to increase during ascent, much like an object falling down due ...
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1answer
305 views

Gravity duals to Navier Stokes and interpretation of non linear contributions

I have been reading the paper The Incompressible Non-Relativistic Navier-Stokes Equation from Gravity. In it they state, "An instability, if it occurs, must necessarily break a symmetry ... ...
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291 views

Why do air bubbles stick to the side of plastic tubing?

I'm watching water with air bubbles flow through transparent plastic tubing. The inner diameter is a few mm. Bubbles typically are the same diameter as the tubing, with length about the same or up ...
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1answer
254 views

What is the angle at which water is splashed when a vehicle tyre rides in water on the road?

I would like to know the following: What is the angle at which water gets splashed when I ride my vehicle through a water on the road? How does angle of water varies with speed? What is the relation ...
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607 views

Surface tension of solutions and mixtures

The inspiration for this question is over on cooking.stackexchange, asking more about actual measurements for commonly consumed liquids, but I'm interested more generally as well. What determines the ...
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1answer
161 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
644 views

How to calculate air velocity in a fan?

How to calculate air velocity in a fan and what data should I know ? So if I have a fan motor, fan blade and a battery, what data should I get from these items ? I think I will need to know the ...
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1answer
252 views

How to calculate strength of wind speed in a von Karman vortex?

I am working on a project involving Von Karman vortices coming off of a mountain. I was able to calculate the shedding frequency (thanks to tpg2114 in a prior question), but now find it necessary to ...
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1answer
160 views

Could the Bernoulli effect be causing my ceiling to come down?

Very 'applied' question, but I have nowhere else to turn, so I'm asking the physics experts here: I have a carport whose ceiling is made of very lightweight paneling. I've had several times now that ...
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196 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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443 views

Given a terrain, how to draw the stream flow path?

Assuming I have a terrain, as usual the terrain has ridges, creeks and all the characteristics that you can find on a real life map. Water flows from the top of the mountain into lower area, the path ...
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1answer
511 views

Spin-up time for fluid in an open cylinder with no endwalls?

I'm interested in how quickly (if at all) the fluid in an open cylinder would reach solid-body rotation if the cylinder is suspended vertically in an unbounded fluid. I've found plenty of work that ...
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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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What is a superfluid in field theoretic terms?

I'm wondering how one precisely defines a superfluid in terms of the effective field theory description. In Nicolis's paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1108.2513 there seems to be an extremely simple ...
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Time inversion for Euler equation

Consider Euler equation for continuum body: $$\frac{\partial u^i}{\partial t}+\mathbf u\cdot \nabla u^i=- \frac{1}{\rho} \frac{\partial p}{\partial x^i} $$ where $\rho$ is the mass density, $p$ is ...
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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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217 views

Is a venturi pump feasible at very low pressure?

I need assistance (or experience feedback) in estimating if a Venturi pump would work at low pressure. A boiler under vacuum (10% atmosphere) will produce steam (at a given speed depending on the ...
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Undergrad project advice [closed]

I am presently in my senior year and I am considering fluid mechanics for my thesis. What area of research of fluid mechanics which is purely analytical and very mathematical since I am an applied ...
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324 views

What's the efficency of a steam jet pump?

Jet pumps or venturi pumps are often stated as having a "terribly low" efficiency, steam jet pumps specifically are usually describes as "only justifiable when there's an abundant steam supply anyway" ...
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570 views

Strange behavior and motion of bubbles in a glass of beer

Very unintuitive observation: I pour myself a Guinness and the bubbles in my glass seem to move down toward the bottom of the glass instead of rising directly to the top of the glass as foam. How ...
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6answers
511 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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458 views

Sixth Power Law

The Law: The size of a solid material that can be carried by a (water) stream is proportional to the sixth power of its velocity. I have just discovered that I read this law long time ago (it has ...
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2answers
458 views

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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Conservation Vs Non-conservation Forms of conservation Equations

I understand mathematically how one can obtain the conservation equations in both the conservative $${\partial\rho\over\partial t}+\nabla\cdot(\rho \textbf{u})=0$$ ...
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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 are roofs blown away by wind?

Whenever there are high winds, such as in storms, thin metal roofs on sheds as well as concave roofs on huts are sometimes blown away. One explanation provided to me said that the higher velocity of ...