Phenomena

Daily Fluids, Part 2

We play with fluid dynamics all the time, though we don’t always think of it as such. Here are a few ways it shows up in the ways we play:

Aerodynamics
This is the study of air moving past an object.  Whether you’re throwing a paper plane, flying a kite, or riding a bike, aerodynamics has an impact on what you’re doing.

Lift
Skipping a rock won’t work unless its impact generates some lift, but we see lift in lots of other places, too, from birds and planes to racecars and sailboats.

Magnus Effect
The Magnus effect relates to lift forces on a spinning object. It can affect the way a frisbee flies, but we see it a lot in ball-related sports, too. The flight of golf balls, volleyballs, baseballs, and soccer balls can all be significantly impacted by the Magnus effect. Check out these videos for a primer on the Magnus effect and the reverse Magnus effect.

Bubbles
Everybody loves playing with bubbles. But they may have more of a impact than you realize, whether it’s in making the foam on your latte, enhancing the aroma of your champagne, or making your joints pop.

Tune in all week for more examples of fluid dynamics in daily life. (Image credit: S. Reckinger et al., source)

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