Mechanical Engineering: How lizards run on water and other incredible feats of fluids
Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.
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 analyze fluid mechanics problems and learn how to design and construct experimental arrangements in order to study and understand the behavior of fluids through flow visualization and measurements. Throughout the two weeks we will look at interesting phenomena such as what holds water droplets together and why can insects and lizards 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. This experimental work will lead to the design of a final project which will be presented to the rest of the class.
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.
As the course is intended to be mostly experimental, the students are not required to have a heavy mathematical background. The physical concepts will be introduced and reviewed in class.