Richard Smith's blog

Fluid Mechanics Rescues Solar Panel Arrays

With all the virtual-world CFD simulations I see it's always a thrill to see real-world applications of a similar configuration. This happened recently with a visit to Manchester, New Hampshire where I saw a solar panel array on a renovated cotton mill.

Solar Panel Array on a Mill BuildingSolar Panel Array on a Mill BuildingManchester, New Hampshire

Aerodynamics News: Cars, Flying Machines, and Bill Nye

Aerodynamics news blast coming your way. Lots of car related news, along with small (nano) and large (airliner) flying machines, and rounded out by news of a Bill Nye "The Science Guy" Kickstarter flight game.

I Spy the New Ferrari Enzo (F70)

Miniature Turbines Whirl in a Watch

Remember the "Fluid Wrist Watch for a Fluid Dynamicist?" Well I've come across another watch for the horology-obsessed fluid dynamicist - the Urwerk UR-202 AlTiN [source: Forbes].

Urwerk UR-202 AlTiNUrwerk UR-202 AlTiNMiniature turbines to damp winding weight

Fluid Dynamics News: More APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting 2012

I mentioned last week that fans of fluid dynamics were in for a real treat with The American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting held in San Diego, November 19-20, 2012, and it did not disappoint. For more APS DFD stories ranging from shockwaves to the structure of an owl's wing, read on.

Fluid Dynamics News: APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting 2012

If you are into fluid dynamics then you have a real treat in store over the next couple of days. The American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting is underway in San Diego and runs November 19-20, 2012. For a taster of the eagerly anticipated presentations here's a brief selection ranging from huddling penguins to knuckleball soccer kicks.

Aerodynamics News: Trucks, Racecars, and Bikes

Another news blast, this time with an aerodynamics theme. Read on to discover how trucks can be more efficient, how racecars and bikes can go faster, and how to make a stunning McLaren ad. Hint - it's all down to aerodynamics.

Making of an Aerodynamics Themed McLaren AdScroll to the bottom of the page to see the finished ad

Fluid Analogy: Hydraulic Jump - White Hole

It seems that analogies between fluid flow and other physical processes continue to proliferate. Add to that list the analogy between a hydraulic jump (think smooth-shallow to rough-deep transition in a sink under a running tap) to a white hole (think black hole running backwards in time). Physicists at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France recently showed through "...an experimental demonstration that the circular hydraulic jump represents a hydrodynamic white hole...".

Hydraulic Jump in a SinkHydraulic Jump in a SinkImage License: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) by James Kilfiger

Fluid Dynamics News: F1, Bubbles, Nanoballs, and Flowers

Browsing through the news today I can across an interesting array of fluid dynamics related stories that I thought I'd share. So if you want to see how the Williams F1 team uses CFD and wind tunnels, or why a half-full (or is it half-empty?) bottle of water breaks when you hit it in a certain way (clue: cavitation), or how to make nanoballs (clue: bristles), and more, check out the links below.

Seiche Water Waves and Earthquakes

I think everyone is well aware of the link between tsunamis and earthquakes after the devastation wreaked in recent years on Japan and Indonesia. However, there is a lesser known water wave called a seiche that is limited to semi-enclosed and fully-enclosed bodies of water, such as lakes, bays, swimming pools, and even puddles. I went searching for links between earthquakes and fluid dynamics after I experienced a minor earthquake (4.0 magnitude) here in New England.

Fluid and Heat Cloaking Devices

While it seems that we are still a long way away from the cloaking devices seen in Star Trek, electromagnetic cloaking using metamaterials is now possible, at least in the laboratory. Not to be outdone, fluid flow and heat transfer have also recently joined the cloaking party.

For Submarines Stealth is EverythingFor Submarines Stealth is Everything

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