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Fluid Mechanics Rapid Review for AP Physics B & C

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 11, 2011

For a more thorough review, refer to these concepts:

Rapid Review

  • Pressure equals force divided by the area over which the force is applied.
  • Density equals the mass of a substance divided by its volume. The ratio of a substance's density to the density of water is called the substance's "specific gravity."
  • The absolute pressure exerted by a column of a fluid equals the pressure at the top of the column plus the gauge pressure—which equals ρgh.
  • The buoyant force on an object is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by that object.
  • If a force is applied somewhere on a container holding a fluid, the pressure increases everywhere in the fluid, not just where the force is applied.
  • The volume flow rate—the volume of fluid flowing past a point per second—is the same everywhere in an isolated fluid stream. This means that when the diameter of a pipe decreases, the velocity of the fluid stream increases, and vice versa.
  • Bernoulli's equation is a statement of conservation of energy. Among other things, it tells us that when the velocity of a fluid stream increases, the pressure decreases.
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