make "explain the fluid mechanics of that" website (students email ...


Oct 24, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)


mail Prof. Sanders (
) with your curiosities for him to post here.

fluid mechanics curiosities:


You attempt to quickly close the door of a room and notice it is difficult to close it
What roles does fluid mechanics play in this problem? What are the
dependencies on:

how tight the clearance between the door and the jamb is?

the size of the room?

whether the window in the room is open or closed?

how far away is the open win
dow in

the room?



ow much power should we be able to extract from a field of wind
turbines on an average windy day?

how many blades and what pitch is

ow much energy
of a fuel’s energy content
is expended in transporting
that fuel
through pipe
lines or by vehicles
(consider gasoline, methane,


how would one design a surfing machine at a waterpark?


what is cavitation?


sports, flying gamepieces

, tennis balls


racquetballs near a wall

but not touching it seem to

interact with the wall

golf balls: drag, lift, dimples

magnitude of fluid forces that cause a dart thrown backward to flip around


kayaking, eddies, etc.


6. drag:

affect of temperature

does the follower affect the leader

boat shape

7. transportation:

how much power does it take to pedal a bicycle on level ground? What
fraction is due to fluid resistance?

bus with rounded front, fuel savings

why is a car most efficient at some speed, like 55 mph in some cases

imagine a stationary
bike in calm room, zero tire and component friction:
what is the fluid dynamic drag

aircraft flight ceilings

speedboats riding own wake
, why is there a wake, how does one
make a big or small wake and what are the relative merits

speedboat flips over

can a car drive upside down using fluid mechanics forces to hold it up to
the “ceiling”

does an airplane on a conveyor belt take off

tailgates and truck MPG

flooding: how strong to sweep people, cars away?

geometries of natural vs. man
made vessels: why d
oes a fish have an oval
section but a submarine has more of a circular one

sailboat sail force compared to outboard motor

tacking, exceeding windspeed, etc.

do you really swim faster by shaving your legs, and how much

; how fast to waters
ki or ski barefoot

accidentally driving a car into a lake

spoilers: when for style, when is there a real need

what could happen if the skin on an airplane wing could circulate

8. household fluid mechanics:

how strong is the force holding a mini
tor shut right after some food is

why does cold air come rushing out of a chest freezer with a horizontal lid

9. general/other

bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly

resonance: pressure oscillation in car

watersnakes at Disney, DTW, etc.

are plasmas,

plastics, etc. fluids

turbulence: what and why

water bang / water hammer, and bandaids

can water flow uphill

are all liquids capable of hydrodynamic lubrication