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How the Bernoulli's principle works for different shapesFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This experiment was performed to investigate how effective Bernoulli's principle is in lifting objects of different shapes.

Hypothesis

Bernoulli’s principle operates the best with objects that are in the shape of an airfoil.

Scientific Terms

Bernoulli's Principle, fluid, airfoil, pressure

Background

Bernoulli’s principle

Bernoulli’s principle states that the pressure exerted by a fluid will reduce when the speed of the fluid increases.

Take two pipes of different diameters that are joined together with a pipe connector. Let's say the fluid enters through the pipe with the larger circumference and exits through the pipe with the smaller circumference. Because the same volume of fluid entering the pipe is the same as that exiting the pipe, the fluid will have to travel more quickly through the small pipe. In other words, as the fluid enters from the larger pipe to the smaller pipe, the pressure of the fluid will increase. This added pressure will cause the fluid to travel more quickly within the small pipe and as the fluid travels more quickly, the pressure of the fluid will drop.

Aerofoil shapes apply Bernoulli’s principle to produce lift in airplanes. The airfoil shape (see figure 1) will cause the air to travel more quickly along the top surface and more slowly along the bottom surface. Therefore the air pressure on the top side of the airfoil is lower than at the bottom. This will produce an upward lift on the airfoil, and as a result, the airplane will climb.

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Complexity level:
9
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
It will take an hour to set up the experiment, and an hour to conduct it
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements