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College Physics

Introduction to Fluid Statics

College PhysicsIntroduction to Fluid Statics

A swimmer in a pool doing the backstroke.
Figure 11.1 The fluid essential to all life has a beauty of its own. It also helps support the weight of this swimmer. (credit: Terren, Wikimedia Commons)

Chapter Outline

11.1 What Is a Fluid?
  • State the common phases of matter.
  • Explain the physical characteristics of solids, liquids, and gases.
  • Describe the arrangement of atoms in solids, liquids, and gases.
11.2 Density
  • Define density.
  • Calculate the mass of a reservoir from its density.
  • Compare and contrast the densities of various substances.
11.3 Pressure
  • Define pressure.
  • Explain the relationship between pressure and force.
  • Calculate force given pressure and area.
11.4 Variation of Pressure with Depth in a Fluid
  • Define pressure in terms of weight.
  • Explain the variation of pressure with depth in a fluid.
  • Calculate density given pressure and altitude.
11.5 Pascal’s Principle
  • Define pressure.
  • State Pascal’s principle.
  • Understand applications of Pascal’s principle.
  • Derive relationships between forces in a hydraulic system.
11.6 Gauge Pressure, Absolute Pressure, and Pressure Measurement
  • Define gauge pressure and absolute pressure.
  • Understand the working of aneroid and open-tube barometers.
11.7 Archimedes’ Principle
  • Define buoyant force.
  • State Archimedes’ principle.
  • Understand why objects float or sink.
  • Understand the relationship between density and Archimedes’ principle.
11.8 Cohesion and Adhesion in Liquids: Surface Tension and Capillary Action
  • Understand cohesive and adhesive forces.
  • Define surface tension.
  • Understand capillary action.
11.9 Pressures in the Body
  • Explain the concept of pressure the in human body.
  • Explain systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
  • Describe pressures in the eye, lungs, spinal column, bladder, and skeletal system.

Much of what we value in life is fluid: a breath of fresh winter air; the hot blue flame in our gas cooker; the water we drink, swim in, and bathe in; the blood in our veins. What exactly is a fluid? Can we understand fluids with the laws already presented, or will new laws emerge from their study? The physical characteristics of static or stationary fluids and some of the laws that govern their behavior are the topics of this chapter. Fluid Dynamics and Its Biological and Medical Applications explores aspects of fluid flow.

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