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ERIC Number: EJ926908
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
An Introduction to Dimensionless Parameters in the Study of Viscous Fluid Flows
Guerra, David; Corley, Kevin; Giacometti, Paolo; Holland, Eric; Humphreys, Michael; Nicotera, Michael
Physics Teacher, v49 n3 p175-179 Mar 2011
It has been suggested that there is a need to deepen the understanding of fluid dynamics in the introductory physics course and to offer interesting experiments to do so. To address this need we have developed a laboratory experiment and the supporting analysis to demonstrate the role of viscosity and the interestingly mysterious use of dimensionless parameters in fluid dynamics. Since viscosity indicates the frictional dependence between the layers of a flowing fluid, a thoughtful student may ask why or when viscosity can be neglected. The laboratory experiment presented here uses common fluids to provide a concrete answer to this question and an easily understandable example of the role of dimensionless parameters in fluid dynamics.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A