Fluid Dynamics

Laminar/Turbulent Flow

[M | t++ | —]
Depending on conditions, either type of flow can be observed in a glass tube through which water is flowing.

Reversible Fluid Mixing

[M | t+ | ★★★★]
Surprising reversibility at low Reynolds number. Also a mechanical analog of spin echoes in NMR.

[In-Depth Description]

Poiseuille's Law

[L | t+ | ★★]
16-tube water tank to show relation between tube cross-section and flow rate.

[In-Depth Description]

Viscous Fluid

[M | t+ | ★★]
Viscosity, Stoke's law, Reynold's number, and terminal velocity are demonstrated at 100 Pascal Sec. (100,000 centipoise); cooled glycerine can be used to show the temperature dependence.

[In-Depth Description]

Poiseuille Double Fountain

[M | t++ | —]
A hose with a smaller opening squirts water higher than an open hose, because of viscosity.

Big Squirt / Little Squirt

[M | t++ | —]
A double fountain puzzler: which fountain squirts higher—the one with the big opening or the one with the small opening?


[M | t | —]
Drag effect of cross-sectional area is demonstrated by two falling disks of paper.

V squared Drag

[L | t++ | —]
Accurate determination and analysis of g for falling bodies shows v2 dependency of drag force.

Diffusion of Bromine Gas

[M | t++ | —]
Gas jar containing bromine linked to second containing air; diffusion can be seen as brown coloration of air jar.

Diffusion of Colored Water

[M | t+ | —]
Food coloring placed at bottom of water filled jar. Diffusion seen as color moves upwards through clear water.

Vortex Tube

[M | t++ | —]
This clever tube separates hot and cold air out of a jet of room temperature air and serves as a refrigerator.

[In-Depth Description]

Vortex Shedding in Air

[L | t+ | ★★★]
A thin wire, moving through the air, is made to vibrate in the audio range at the vortex shedding frequency.

In-Depth Description]

Vortex Shedding in Water

[L | t+++ | ★★★]
Water moving around a cylindrical pendulum makes the cylinder swing at the vortex shedding frequency.

[In-Depth Description]

Turning Off g

[L | t+ | —]
A cup filled with water has a hole in the bottom. What kind of trajectory does the leaking water experience when the cup is dropped from up high?

Bernoulli's Principle

[L | t+ | ★★★]
Spinning ball in air stream moves perpendicular to flow in a way dependant on spin direction.

[In-Depth Description]

Bernoulli Wind Tunnel

[L | t+ | ★★]
Tunnel with different cross sections shows that pressure is dependant on air velocity.

[In-Depth Description]

Bernoulli Beach Ball

[M | t | ★★★]
Beach ball held aloft by an angled air stream.

[In-Depth Description]

Curve Ball

[M | t | ★★]
A styrofoam ball thrown with a Wham-O Trac-Ball racquet deviates from its principal trajectory due to the Magnus effect.

Contact Us

Mailing Address: Lecture Demonstration Services, Science Center, Rm B-08A, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Campus Location: Science Center B-08A | Tel: (617) 495-5824 | Email: scidemos-at-fas.harvard.edu