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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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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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 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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349 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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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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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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Are coffee's properties different enough from water's to cause increased spillage while walking?

I recently found this article, which describes how... It just so happens that the human stride has almost exactly the right frequency to drive the natural oscillations of coffee, when the fluid is ...
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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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870 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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Dyson Air Blade as a propulsion system?

I've read from many sources that Dyson Air Multipliers are more efficient and quieter than normal fans. Now, with the proof of concept, is it possible to use its principles as a propulsion system for, ...
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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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609 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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assumptions about sound waves

When deriving the sound wave equation: $${1 \over c^2} {\partial^2 p' \over \partial t^2 }= \Delta^2 p' $$ by linearizing the Euler equation: $$\rho {d v \over dt }= - \nabla p $$ and the continuity ...
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What's the difference between “Ohmic dissipation”, “Joule heating”, “ion drag” and “resistive heating”?

The following terms are sometimes used to refer to ... more or less ... the same thing by different people and in different contexts (electronic circuits vs. plasma physics, etc.): Ohmic ...
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1answer
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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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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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280 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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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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230 views

Why does a continuous water stream form ripples when colliding with a surface? [duplicate]

I was in the shower one day washing my hair, and noticed that the water falling off my hair formed perfect streams that ceased to break into droplets for quiet some distance (probably about 5-6 cm). ...
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2answers
46 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
690 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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1answer
315 views

Landau & Lifshitz - Euler's equation for one-dimensional flow

One page 5 in Landau & Lifshitz Fluid Mechanics (2nd edition), the authors pose the following problem: Write down the equations for one-dimensional motion of an ideal fluid in terms > of the ...
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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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948 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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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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468 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
349 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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Flow rate of a syringe

Suppose a syringe (placed horizontally) contains a liquid with the density of water, composed of a barrel and a needle component. The barrel of the syringe has a cross-sectional area of $\alpha~m^2$, ...
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224 views

What is the pressure of falling water?

Imagine a breaking wave 10m high. The wave breaks onto a beach. What is the maximum pressure created by the wave on the beach, ignoring effects such as might be cause by air?
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1answer
109 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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145 views

What is the reason behind Laminar Flow and the ability to return to near-original state in Laminar fluids?

Laminar flow here refers to the smooth disruption of fluid in layers, in a medium. A peculiar trait in a few examples of laminar flow is the ability to return to near-original state, as demonstrated ...
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To calculate pressure at point in a vertical water pipe of given diameter

Is it possible to calculate pressure at a point in a pipe, where a solenoid valve shall be placed, given that the pipe carries water (utility supplied, regular water) from an overhead tank (at a ...
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666 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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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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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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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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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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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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217 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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1answer
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Why does a stream of water behave like this when aimed against a spoon or into a glass?

I noticed while doing everything except the dishes that water behaves quite strange. These two things might be two different phenomenon, but the water acts in a similar way in both cases. Spoon and ...
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Surface tension and soap bubbles

In a common experiment, you can make a paper clip float on water due to the strong surface tension. Adding just a tiny bit of soap immediately destroys the surface tension and lets the paper clip ...
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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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2answers
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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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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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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 ...