Questions tagged [fluid-dynamics]

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

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266
votes
16answers
74k views

What really allows airplanes to fly?

What aerodynamic effects actually contribute to producing the lift on an airplane? I know there's a common belief that lift comes from the Bernoulli effect, where air moving over the wings is at ...
95
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6answers
100k views

Why does the atmosphere rotate along with the earth?

I was reading somewhere about a really cheap way of travelling: using balloons to get ourselves away from the surface of the earth. The idea held that because the earth rotates, we should be able to ...
9
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4answers
9k views

Define Pressure at A point. Why is it a Scalar?

I have a final exam tomorrow for fluid mechanics and I was just looking over the practice exam questions. They do not provide solutions. But pretty much I have to define pressure at a point and also ...
6
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1answer
3k views

Non-linear waves and shock formation

In the cases of non-linear acoustics, why is shock formation unlikely when the dispersion is strong when compared to the non-linearity of the wave?
112
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8answers
52k views

Why does a helium filled balloon move forward in a car when the car is accelerating?

I noticed that when I had a helium filled, latex balloon inside of my car, it moved forward in the cabin as I accelerated forward. The faster I accelerated forward, the faster the balloon went from ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Can a hovering helicopter travel half the globe in 12 hours? [duplicate]

Suppose we have a helicopter that is able to stay stationary in flight for extended periods of time. If such a helicopter stayed at point A in the sky for 12 hours straight, would it reach the other ...
22
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3answers
13k views

Does a wing in a potential flow have lift?

I have a hard time understanding whether or not a wing placed in a potential flow, assuming there is no viscosity and no friction with the wing, will produce a lift. I've seen several contradictory (...
34
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6answers
3k views

Do gases have phonons?

A phonon is a quantized unit of sound; they are encountered when quantizing lattice vibrations in solids. Now, even an ideal gas supports sound waves, but in this case, interactions between atoms are ...
30
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3answers
7k views

What nonlinear deformations will a fast rotating planet exhibit?

It is common knowledge among the educated that the Earth is not exactly spherical, and some of this comes from tidal forces and inhomogeneities but some of it comes from the rotation of the planet ...
16
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2answers
9k views

Height of Water 'Splashing'

Suppose from a height $H$, I throw a ball of mass $M$ and radius $R$ with initial velocity $u$ into a pool of depth $x$ having a liquid with density $\rho$ and coefficient of viscosity $\eta$. Upto ...
15
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4answers
38k views

Explanation that air drag is proportional to speed or square speed?

A falling object with no initial velocity with mass $m$ is influenced by a gravitational force $g$ and the drag (air resistance) which is proportional to the object's speed. By Newton´s laws this can ...
12
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3answers
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Patterns in laminar flow of tap water

This is a simple experiment that anyone can do at home. Open your tap so that the water maintains a laminar flow, and the cross section of flow is considerably thin. Place your finger 3-4 cm below the ...
18
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8answers
5k views

Vortex in liquid collects particles in center

At xmas, I had a cup of tea with some debris at the bottom from the leaves. With less than an inch of tea left, I'd shake the cup to get a little vortex going, then stop shaking and watch it spin. ...
3
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6answers
2k views

Mathematical Reasoning for Fluid Pressure as a Scalar

This question from a while ago and answers/comments to this question from earlier today both make heavy mention of the fact that fluid pressure is a scalar. Although this information was surprising ...
15
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1answer
14k views

Book recommendations for fluid dynamics self-study

I have my bachelors degree in engineering science: computer science, option electrotechnic. I have a good understanding of basic mechanics and dynamics, calculus (differential equations). The books I'...
2
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2answers
889 views

Navier-Stokes Derivation

Someone knows a physical derivation of the Navier-Stokes equation? Mainly the stress tensor. A lot of authors simply "jumps" the stress tensor and it's the more important of physical motion and ...
6
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2answers
5k views

Platform diving: How deep does one go into the water?

I am a platform diver. I am trying to figure out how deep in the water I go depending on which platform I dive from. The platforms are 1m, 3m, 5m, 7.5m and 10m above the water surface. By ignoring ...
22
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1answer
1k views

Flames with no gravity?

I was watching "Solaris" (Tarkovsky) today, and noticed this: in some moment the space station changed orbit and the people inside experienced zero-gravity. At that moment, a candlestick ...
10
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2answers
14k views

Why is pressure in a liquid the same in all directions?

I'd like answers both in the more intuitive side an on the more precise side. Thinking of water as "cubes" of water, for example, would allow pressure in the z axis to be independent of the y or x ...
5
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3answers
1k views

How do shock waves form in space?

Today my aerodynamics professor mentioned that the equations we were learning for atmospheric shock waves can also be applied by astrophysicists to study black hole-related shock waves in space. How ...
63
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15answers
29k views

Why does dust stick to rotating fan propeller?

Why does dust stick to rotating fan propeller? Intuitively, most people (including I) think of the dust will not stick to rotating fan propellers.
21
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9answers
22k views

Why there's a whirl when you drain the bathtub?

At first I thought it's because of Coriolis, but then someone told me that at the bathtub scale that's not the predominant force in this phenomenon.
32
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2answers
1k views

What forces are at work causing sand to migrate to the centre of a spinning bucket of water? [duplicate]

A bucket is filled with water and a handful of sand. The water is then spun. Why and what forces are in play which cause the sand particles to congregate in the centre of the bucket?
21
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4answers
2k views

How to show that the Coriolis effect is irrelevant for the whirl/vortex in the sink/bathtub?

There is a common myth that water flowing out from a sink should rotate in direction governed by on which hemisphere we are; this is shown false in many household experiments, but how to show it ...
17
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6answers
7k views

How much effect does the Bernoulli effect have on lift?

I understand that the Bernoulli effect is a flawed explanation for the cause of lift, and does not cause much at all, but how much? Is there any experimental data on the force caused by the ...
13
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4answers
36k views

A fly in an accelerating car

A fly is flying around in a car, the fly never touches any surface in the car only fly’s around in the air inside the car. The car accelerates. does the fly slam in to the rear window. or does the fly ...
44
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5answers
9k views

Have we figured out how to analyze turbulent fluids?

I was surprised to read that we don't know how to analyze turbulent fluids. On page 3-9 of The Feynman Lectures on Physics (Volume One), Feynman writes: Finally, there is a physical problem that is ...
51
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3answers
15k views

When water climbs up a piece of paper, where is the energy coming from?

Take a glass of water and piece of toilet paper. If you keep the paper vertical, and touch the surface of the water with the tip of the paper, you can see the water being absorbed and climbing up the ...
45
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2answers
5k views

Wind generators - why so few blades?

Why commercial wind generators usually have just 2-3 blades? Having more blades would allow to increase power OR decrease diameter. Decreased diameter would also reduce stress due to different wind ...
19
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5answers
8k views

Would a fast interstellar spaceship benefit from an aerodynamic shape?

Some (generous) assumptions: We have a spaceship that can reach a reasonable fraction of light speed. The ship is able to withstand the high energies of matter impacting at that speed. Given the ...
20
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5answers
48k views

How far can water rise above the edge of a glass?

When you fill a glass with water, water forms a concave meniscus with constant contact angle $\theta$ (typically $\theta=20^\circ$ for tap water): Once you reach the top of the glass, the water-air ...
14
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1answer
13k views

Fluid in a rotating cylinder

I have been wondering why a fluid in a rotating container has a parabola shape? Is it possible to prove this mathematically?
7
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2answers
14k views

How Reynolds number was derived?

I'm studying fluid dynamics and recently the formula $Re=\frac{\rho vd}{\eta}$ was presented to me. I'm curious to know how Reynolds came up with this relations between this different variables. Did ...
10
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2answers
9k views

Why does a balloon spiral in the air instead of moving in a straight line?

When an air-filled balloon is released without its opening tied up, it moves in a circular path rather than a straight line. Why is that?
5
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3answers
41k views

How does the radius of a pipe affect the rate of flow of fluid?

Poiseuille's law states that the rate of flow of water is proportionate to $r^4$ where $r$ is the radius of the pipe. I don't see why. Intuitively I would expect rate of flow of fluid to vary with $r^...
108
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6answers
26k views

Why is oil a better lubricant than water?

How come mineral oil is a better lubricant than water, even though water has a lower viscosity? When two surfaces slide over each other with a gap filled with a fluid, the different layers of the ...
14
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3answers
7k views

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 ...
40
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3answers
31k views

What is going on in front of and behind a fan?

Why is it that when you drop paper behind a fan, it drops, and is not blown/sucked into the fan, whereas if you drop paper in front of a fan, it is blown away?
10
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7answers
23k views

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 capillarity,...
19
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1answer
4k views

Bernoulli's equation and reference frames

So I was thinking about this while driving home the other day. I've never been quite clear on why when you drive with the windows down air rushes into your car. I thought this might be explained by ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Why are continuum fluid mechanics accurate when constituents are discrete objects of finite size?

Suppose we view fluids classically, i.e., as a collection of molecules (with some finite size) interacting via e&m and gravitational forces. Presumably we model fluids as continuous objects that ...
18
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3answers
10k views

Why and how is sound produced when two objects hit each other?

When two objects collide and undergo a partially inelastic collision (so every one we experience in every-day life), they rebound to a certain degree, but kinetic energy is not conserved. Thus, the ...
14
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2answers
5k views

Why, when one opens 1 car window, does that noise occur?

When you're driving and you open 1 car window, say the front one, there comes a horrible noise, but when you open another window just the slightest bit, this noise goes away (I'm sure most people know ...
6
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2answers
62k views

Calculation of pressure from flow rate of water

Anybody kindly help me to find how to calculate pressure in bar from flow rate. I have a pipe and from that I am transferring water at a constant flow rate of 5ml/min. At this flow rate, with a 0.5 cm ...
0
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1answer
7k views

What is actually the characteristic length in fluid dynamics description?

In many fluid-dynamics models and quantities (Reynolds number, Strouhal number... generally various turbulent flow descriptions) there is a parameter (usually $L$ or $\ell$) descripted as ...
24
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8answers
66k views

What is Pressure Energy?

While deriving Bernoulli's Theorem, our teacher said that the sum of KE, PE and Pressure Energy per unit volume remains constant at any two points. $$P + \rho g h + \frac{\rho v^2}{2} = \text{...
8
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3answers
3k views

Classical Limit of Schrodinger Equation

There is a well-known argument that if we write the wavefunction as $\psi = A \exp(iS/\hbar)$, where $A$ and $S$ are real, and substitute this into the Schrodinger equation and take the limit $h \to 0$...
43
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4answers
4k views

What is the minimum pressure of a medium for which a sound wave can exist?

At what pressure will be particles in a medium be unable to form a sound wave when disturbed? How can this pressure be described mathematically? My guess is that this would correspond to the point at ...
35
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3answers
73k views

Why does water pouring from a glass sometimes travel down the side of the glass?

If you have a glass of water, say, three quarters full and you pour it at an angle of say, $45^{\circ}$ with respect to the the table, the water comes out of the glass and goes directly down towards ...
11
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2answers
2k views

The optics of vortex (in water): why there is a bright ring?

This picture is from this YouTube video from "Physics Girl", which shows how you can generate vortices in a swimming pool by using a plate: And there she explains the creation of the shaded circle ...

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