Physics 39 (Section 2, CCN:69483), Spring 2008

Sophomore Seminar: Elementary Physics of Fluids

Phusics 39 Class Picture, Spring 2008

Synopsis of the course:
Physics of fluids frequently falls through the cracks in the university curriculum. Yet, it is very interesting, entertaining, and practically useful. In this seminar, we will touch upon things such as waves on the surface of water, why airplanes fly, how blood flows in veins and arteries, how to measure a speed of a boat,  how a vacuum pump works, and how the speed of a speedboat scales with engine power, and, hopefully, many others. Enrollment in this seminar is open to any freshman or sophomore who is interested!

When and where: Thursday 4:00-5:30, 395 LeConte Hall

Format: one 1.5-hr class meetings per week (student participation strongly encouraged); discussion on individual basis (by appointment)

Instructor: Professor Dmitry Budker

Office hours: by appointment; in 273 Birge

Course credit (1.5 units, LG) will be given on the basis of optional homework (0-50%) and oral presentations (50%-100%). Each student is required to make at least one presentation during the semester; more presentations are encouraged! A brief one-page (professionally formatted and edited) abstract of the presentation should be turned in at the time of presentation. Please include the presenter's name and the date of the presentation in the abstract. The abstract should be composed as if it was for a talk to be presented at the American Physical Society meeting, and should give your colleagues a convincing reason to attend your talk. It should contain important keywords that will help them identify the subject area of your research and the most important result(s) to be presented.

Tentative course outline:

    * Viscosity
        - Fisherman/boat with viscous friction (Ryutov)
        - Motorboat speed scaling with power
        - Poiseulle flow
        - Microfluidics
        - Stokes formula for solids and bubbles

        - Superfluid

    * Hydrostatics
        - Bubble floating up (Shteinberg)
    * Waves
        - Speed of sound; relation to thermal velocity
        - Gravity deep and shallow water waves, waves in a cup, what happens as the wave hits shore, capillary waves
        - Tsunami
        - Kelvin wake waves
        - Solitons
    * Wetting, capillary forces
        - Trees
        - Cardiovascular system; size scaling
        - Vapor pressure over curved surface
    * Bernoulli law
        - Pipe flow; pressure vs. diameter
        - Sail boats; rotor boats
        - Why do airplanes fly ?
    * Turbulence
        - Reynolds number; scaling
        - River speed w/o turbulence (Barenblatt)
        - Terminal velocity; reason for 55 mph
        - Sumbarines and bulges

Required text: none

Recommended texts (general):

  1. G. I. Barenblatt, SCALING, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2003. (Check at the Berkeley libaries)
  2. Tsutomu Kambe, ELEMENTARY FLUID MECHANICS, World Scientific, 2007. (Check at the Berkeley libaries)
  3.  T. E. FaberFluid dynamics for physicists, Cambridge ; New York, 1995.  (Check at the Berkeley libaries)
  4. Y. A. Cengel and J. M. Cimbala, Fluid Mechanics. Fundamentals and applications; McGraw Hill, 2006. (An excellent undergraduate textbook for engineers)
  5. B. Lautrup, Physics of Continuous Matter, IOP 2005
Physics (and not-quite-physics) bed-time reading:
  1. Charles H. Townes, How the Laser Happened: Adventures of a Scientist, Oxford University Press, 1999 (ISBN: 0195122682)
  2. Seabrook, W. Doctor Wood, Modern Wizard of the Laboratory. New York, Harcourt, Brace and company, 1941 (Physics Library QC16.W6 S4)
  3. Margarita Ryutova-Kemoklidze, The Quantum Generation: Highlights and Tragedies of the Golden Age of Physics, Springer Verlag, 1995 (ISBN: 0387532986)
  4. Segrè, Emilio. A Mind Always in Motion: The Autobiography of Emilio Segre. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1993.

Bulletin Board:

02/01/08  Dear Class: I would like to eventually come up with a set of lecture notes for the class. I do not know if you have realized this already or not, but a lot of what is happening in the class is our joint improvisation with you (which starts with a scripted theme, but than takes off in unpredictable directions). Therefore, having a good set (or sets) of notes taken in class  would be extremely helpful to me and eventually to you and future generations of students who will be able to use the compiled lecture notes. Therefore, if you keep good notes, please give me copies and earn points when you do!

News flash!

Seminars and Colloquia

Lecture Notes, Viewgraphs, Electronic Tutorials

Assorted Physics-Related Links, Web Resources

Individual research topics and presentations:

Acknowledgment and Disclaimer: This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).