The unobservable universe is the key to some of the most intriguing features of our reality. Fluid mechanics provides an insight into the mechanisms of many natural and artificial processes that are part of our everyday lives. However, to observe the most mysterious and fantastic attributes of fluids and their interaction with their surroundings we must overcome the limits set by our eyes. We must carefully design experiments, which will allow us to look at what we otherwise are unable to see.
In this class, students will build both a basic understanding of classical Newtonian mechanics and apply those principles to understand and analyze fluid mechanics problems. Students will learn how to design and conduct experiments in order to observe the behavior of fluids and use their observations and measurements to form scientific hypotheses. Throughout the two weeks, we will look at interesting phenomena such as what holds water droplets together and how insects and lizards can run on water. We will also look at how waves are created at fluid interfaces and what happens to fluids when they interact with electric fields. In parallel with the discovery of these principles, students will work in groups to propose an academic design project demonstrating application of fluid mechanics principles, and work through various aspects of engineering development for a final demo and presentation at the end of the course.
By the end of the course, students will be familiar with the concepts studied in fluid mechanics. They will understand the engineering approach to the field and how we benefit from it in our everyday lives.
Students will have gained an insight into the theoretical background of fluid mechanics, such as the basic equations that relate different fluid properties (viscosity, pressure, surface tension) and the implementation of experimental procedures to visualize, measure and test these properties under different defined and controlled laboratory conditions.
Prerequisites: While the course is intended to be primarily experimental, the students will be given a flavor of the mathematical analysis that is part of the field, and would benefit from knowledge of algebra and geometry. Pertinent physical background and mathematical background will be introduced and reviewed in class.
STEM for Rising 9th and 10th Graders
Two-week, non-credit residential program focused on STEM subjects and taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 8-9 by June 2020; minimum age of 14 and maximum age of 15 by the start of the program.Visit Program Page Learn How to Apply