Fluid Dynamics subtopic

Have you ever wanted to gain greater insight into how stars evolve, weather patterns form, or water flows through pipes? If the answer is yes, then fluid dynamics will provide the answers to your questions. This is the branch of physics that examines the movement of liquids and gases, and how forces affect them.  

According to www.livescience.com, fluid dynamics is a branch of fluid mechanics. The other branch is fluid statics, which deals with fluids at rest. Fluid dynamics provides scientists and engineers with a greater understanding of ocean currents, plate tectonics, and even blood circulation. It can be applied in the workings of air conditioning systems, wind turbines and oil pipelines.

As sophisticated as fluid dynamics has become in the high-tech age, its origins go back to ancient civilizations. They exhibited an understanding of fluid dynamics through their creation and effective use of boats, spears, arrows, and hydraulic engineering projects for irrigation, draining, flood protection, and water supply.

The field’s first major scientific insights came from Archimedes, who in 250 BC established the principals of hydrostatics and dynamics. He did this in his work On Floating Bodies. Archimedes also developed a new law of buoyancy, known as Archimedes’ Principle. This states that the buoyant force is equal to the weight of the displaced water (https://physics.weber.edu/carroll/Archimedes/principle.htm).

The concept of “flow,” which is the movement of liquids and gases, is key to understanding fluid dynamics. Flow describes how fluids behave, and how they interact with their surrounding environment. Flow can be steady or unsteady. Steady flow does not change over time. Unsteady flow is chaotic, as reflected by massive flooding or high winds such as tornadoes and hurricanes. These are called turbulent flows, which are changeable and often harsher. Laminar flows are smoother. If the liquid’s viscosity (thickness) is high, the flow tends to be laminar.

Hydrodynamics, which is a sector of fluid dynamics, is the study of liquid flow. All liquids are studied through this discipline, but the major focus is on water flow. Large cities depend on hydrodynamics to control the city water and sewer systems, as well as to alleviate flooding. Hydrodynamics plays a key role in making sure water flows smoothly in pipes or open channels as it makes its way to homes and businesses. Good air flow is also essential to help ensure that winds whip around buildings without causing damage.

Another aspect of fluid dynamics is aerodynamics, which is the movement of objects through the atmosphere. Aerodynamics studies the way to reduce drag on automobile bodies. It also examines ways to design more efficient wind turbines and aircraft.

Bernoulli’s Principal

One of the major foundations of fluid dynamics is Bernoulli’s Principal, which states that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure or a decrease in the fluid’s potential energy. It is named after Daniel Bernoulli, who wrote the principal in his book Hydrodynamica that was published in 1738.

According to www.teachengineering.org, Bernoulli’s Equation has four variables: velocity, elevation, pressure and density. It also has a constant, which is the acceleration due to gravity.

The equation is:

Velocity (squared) + constant-elevation + pressure = constant

         2                                                                  density

To fully understand this equation, you must know about streamlines. They are curves that are tangent to the velocity vector of the flow. In lay terms, they show the direction a fluid element will travel in at any point it time. An example of this is throwing a leaf into moving water. It will always go downstream.

Computational Fluid Dynamics

The computer age has created a growing new research and analysis sector of this field. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a discipline of fluid mechanics that uses numerical analysis and data structures to solve and analyze problems that involve fluid flows. Computers are used to perform calculations required to simulate the interaction of liquids and gases with surfaces defined by boundary conditions.

According to www.thermofluids.co.uk, CFD allows fluid dynamic engineers to test existing structures or prototypes in a windless, simulated wind tunnel on their computer. In the comfort of their office, they can analyze free surface flows, particle tracking, rotating flows, buoyant flows, compressible flows, and much more.

A Well Paid Professional Field

According to www.indeed.com/salaries/fluid-dynamics-salaries, the average salary in this field ranges from approximately $68,896 per year for a Mechanical Designer to $84,079 per year for an Application Developer.

The growing salaries of people going into the computational fluid dynamics engineering field is reflected in a survey done by www.salarylist.com/jobs/computational-fluid-dynamics-engineer-salary-htm. It reports that salaries in this field range from $55,000 to $115,000. The average salary is $80,067, with median salary being $78,000.

According to www.indeed.com/salaries/fluid-dynamics-salaries, the average salary in this field ranges from approximately $68,896 per year for a Mechanical Designer to $84,079 per year for an Application Developer.

The growing salaries of people going into the computational fluid dynamics engineering field is reflected in a survey done by www.salarylist.com/jobs/computational-fluid-dynamics-engineer-salary-htm. It reports that salaries in this field range from $55,000 to $115,000. The average salary is $80,067, with median salary being $78,000.

The odds of earning more in this field dramatically increase if you graduate from one of the top university programs. According to https://www.topuniversities.com/courses/engineering-mechanical/top-10-universities-mechanical-engineering, the top US universities offering fluid dynamics within their mechanical engineering department are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Michigan.

  

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