What is a Coefficient?

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Fluids Defined

What exactly is a fluid? It helps to know the characteristics!

  1. Fluids are a state of matter in which a substance cannot hold a shape.
  2. Fluids can be a liquid, a gas, or air.
  3. Newtonian fluids flow easily and continually under an applied stress.
  4. Liquids are said to flow in a continuum.
  5. Some fluids, such as air and gas, are said to be compressible.

Some fluids are Newtonian. These fluids have a:

  1. linear relationship between the shear stress  and the shear rate.
  2. definable coefficient of viscosity.
  3. constant coefficient of viscosity.
  4. predictable behavior.

Some fluids are Non-Newtonian. These fluids:

  1. do not behave like Newtonian fluids.
  2. are subject to shear stress from other factors such as temperature and pressure.
  3. coefficient of viscosity  that is not possible to calculate.
  4. have unpredictable behavior.

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Terms to Know

Archimede’s Principle: when an object is immersed in a fluid, it is buoyed upward by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced

Buoyancy: the tendency of a fluid to exert an upward force, equal to the weight of the fluid displaced, on a body placed in it

Continuum: molecules that are in close relations to one another without breaks or gaps

Displacement: the property of a body immersed in a fluid to push the fluid out of the way and occupy the space

Resistance: one of the four aerodynamic forces, it is equal to the amount of change in horizontal momentum caused by resistance of the medium around the object

Shear stress: a tangential – parallel – force on a surface.


Need other terms? Check out the glossary in my book.

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