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Turbulence and Drag

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The magnitude of the drag force moving through some resistive medium can be roughly described by 1 D = CD A v 2. 2 A: cross-sectional area normal to objects path : density of resistive medium v : objects speed CD : drag coecient

The dynamic viscosity ( ) of a uid measures how non-shearable the uid is.

N s/m2 Hydrogen 9.6 106 Air 1.8 105 Gasoline 2.9 104 Water 9.6 104 Mercury 1.5 103 Glycerine 9.5 101 chocolate syrup 10 25 molten glass 10 1000 Substance

where L is some characteristic dimension of the object (like the diameter of a sphere). A small Re means slow motion through a sti medium (ball bearing falling through glycerine, for example, or bacterium swimming in the body); large Re means fast motion through a slippery medium (bullet through air).

Changes of ow regime

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Small Re

For small Re (Re < 1), CD = 24/Re , and so the drag force becomes D = 6 rv , with r the radius of the sphere. This is known as Stokes Law. Its valid for slow motion through viscous uids.

For spheres moving with Reynolds number between 1000 and 300000, we have CD 0.5. This is known as the quadratic model of uid resistance. For macroscopic objects moving through air (bullets, skydivers, baseballs), the quadratic model is pretty good.

A spherical water balloon of radius 10.0 cm is dropped from the top of a tall building. (a) Calculate the balloons terminal velocity. (b) Calculate the velocity of the balloon after 2.00 seconds. (c) compare the answer in (b) to that obtained in the case of no air resistance.

(a) Calculate the balloons terminal velocity. Solution: For a sphere we take CD = 0.5. The density of dry air is 1.20 kg/m3 and the balloons mass is calculable from the density of water and its volume: m 4.19 kg. Then vT = 2mg 66.0 m/s. CD A

(b) Calculate the velocity of the balloon after 2.00 seconds. Solution: The velocity at any time can be calculated directly from our solution of the dierential equation: gt v = vT tanh vT 9.80 m/s2 2.00 s = (66.0 m/s) tanh 66.0 m/s 19.0 m/s.

(c) compare the answer in (b) to that obtained in the case of no air resistance. Solution: The constant-acceleration (no resistance) model predicts that after 2.00 s the velocity is v = v0 g t = = 0 m/s 9.80 m/s2 2.00 s 19.6 m/s.

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