Wind Tunnel Experiment
Swiss scientist Daniel Bernoulli is often considered the father of fluid mechanics, and developed a mathematical relationship between pressure and fluid flow in the 18th century. Both liquids and gases are considered fluids, and the Bernoulli Principle is a mathematical explanation of why things can fly. The faster a fluid flows, the lower pressure it has. Flying objects (and animals) move very quickly relative to their size. Wings, called airfoils when being designed by engineers, are typically rounded on top and flat on the bottom so the pressure on the top of the wing is lower than the pressure of the bottom, creating lift. Lift is a force that is perpendicular to the direction of fluid flow— when air is flowing towards an object, lift is in the upward direction, opposite of gravity.
Planes, cars, bikes, and many other objects are used in wind tunnels to test aerodynamics, or how an object moves through air at many speeds. For bikes and cars, we want them to be pushed lower into the ground (no lift), whereas with airplanes we want them can to create lift so they can fly through the sky. Wind tunnels can be whole buildings which use powerful fans to test life size objects, or small models, like the one you will build and test today.
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