Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

Web Resources

HyperPhysics - Bernoulli Equation

HyperPhysics - Pressure as Energy Density

HyperPhysics - Fluid Kinetic Energy

HyperPhysics - Fluid Potential Energy

PY105 Notes - Fluid dynamics and Bernoulli's equation
Accessible overviews of the main concepts of ideal fluid dynamics including the continuity of volume flux and Bernoulli's Law, including some interesting examples to illustrate the concepts.

Monterey Institute - Bernoulli's Equation
Multimedia presentation.

University of Winnipeg - Fluids in Motion
Nice summary of Continuity Equation and Bernoulli's Law. Good for quick review.

HyperPhysics - Curve of a Baseball

  click if a link is broken

Special points of emphasis

Work, Energy, and Power

Fluid Mechanics

The fundamental principles of conservation of energy apply in fluid dynamics. The expression of conservation of energy for an ideal fluid takes the form of Bernoulli's Law, which tells you how energy interconverts within the flow. One way or another, Bernoulli's Law finds its way onto a sizable portion of MCAT exams.

The energy of a fluid in motion can take various forms. An indication of the energy within a portion of the flow can be seen in the height of the flow-line, the speed of the flow, and the pressure within the moving fluid. Within some volume elements of the flow, the energy manifests as flow speed. Somewhere else, the energy may manifest as pressure. And at another position, the energy manifests as height.

As one form of energy decreases, one or both of the others must be increasing. Where the flow speed is high in a level flow, the pressure must be lower than another portion of the flow at that same level where the flow speed is low. Lower flow speed at the same level means higher pressure in an ideal fluid.

Fluid Mechanics

The Cardiovascular System

One of the most important contexts for Fluid Mechanics reasoning for future doctors is the human circulatory system. However, Bernoulli's Law can only be applied in very special and localized circumstances in the cardiovascular system because blood is not an ideal fluid, and the cardiovascular system is not close.

One of the very important deviations from ideal fluid behavior comprise the effects of viscous dissipation as described by Pouseille's Law.

However one very useful application of Bernoulli's Law in the interpretation of blood flow is to describe a localized pressure decrease produced by high flow rate near blockages. Remember, Bernoulli's Law tells us that if the flow rate is high in a localized area, the pressure must be low there.

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