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Fluid mechanics studies the mechanics of fluids – liquids, gases, and plasmas – and the forces on them.

In fluid physics we can model matter without using the fact that matter is made of atoms. Models are built from a macroscopic viewpoint, rather than from microscopic. Fluid mechanics can be mathematically complex, and is best be solved by numerical methods using computers.

Chapter 10: Fluids

  • 10.1: Phases of Matter

  • States of Matter – on this website 🙂

  • 10.2: Density and Specific Gravity (3)

  • Density

  • 10.3: Pressure in Fluids

  • 10.4: Atmospheric Pressure and Gauge Pressure

  • Properties of gases – on this website 🙂

  • Air pressure visualized

  • 10.5: Pascal’s Principle

  • 10.6: Measurement of Pressure; Gauges and the Barometer (9)

  • 10.7: Buoyancy and Archimedes’ Principle (8)

  • 10.8: Fluids in Motion; Flow Rate and the Equation of Continuity

  • 10.9: Bernoulli’s Equation

  • 10.10: Applications of Bernoulli’s Principle: Torricelli, Airplanes, Baseballs, Blood Flow (7)

  • 10.11: Viscosity

  • 10.12: Flow in Tubes: Poiseuille’s Equation, Blood Flow (4)

  • 10.13: Surface Tension and Capillarity (3)

  • 10.14: Pumps, and the Heart


Learning standards

2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards
HS-PS1-3. Cite evidence to relate physical properties of substances at the bulk scale to spatial arrangements, movement, and strength of electrostatic forces among ions, small molecules, or regions of large molecules in the substances. Make arguments to account for how compositional and structural differences in molecules result in different types of intermolecular or intramolecular interactions.

HS-ETS4-4(MA). Calculate and describe the ability of a hydraulic system to multiply distance, multiply force, and effect directional change. Clarification Statement: • Emphasis is on the ratio of piston sizes (cross-sectional area) as represented in Pascal’s law


A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (2012)

PS1.A Structure of matter (includes PS1.C, nuclear processes)

That matter is composed of atoms and molecules can be used to explain the properties of substances, diversity of materials, how mixtures will interact, states of matter, phase changes, and conservation of matter. States of matter can be modeled in terms of spatial arrangement, movement, and strength of interactions between particles. Characteristic physical properties unique to each substance can be used to identify the substance.


The arrangement and motion of atoms vary in characteristic ways, depending on the substance and its current state (e.g., solid, liquid). Chemical composition, temperature, and pressure affect such arrangements and motions of atoms, as well as the ways in which they interact. Under a given set of conditions, the state and some properties (e.g., density, elasticity, viscosity) are the same for different bulk quantities of a substance, whereas other properties (e.g., volume, mass) provide measures of the size of the sample at hand.

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