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Aerospace How do fluids behave in a space centrifugal structure (artificial gravity)

  1. Sep 20, 2016 #1
    How fluids would act around the circumference of a space centrifugal, where the habitable zones are.

    Given that we have a radial gradient of Artificial Gravity , plus Coriolis, inertia, frictions etc. Id expect some change. Will add a list of questions but this more like an open discussion.

    • Can we really have the luxury of a completely calm pool or lake?
    • In a pipe with liquid going all around the circumference, we would witness flow?
    • Do we need to adjust vent hydraulics systems, to prevent unwanted effects?
    • Lets also say that we have a roof (unlike Elysium), atmosphere is also a fluid. Is it possible that we would witness a small constant flow of air (if we neglect all frictions obstacles)?
    • We also know that mixed fluids separate in centrifugation can you guys imagine a problem caused by that? On a spinning rate < 2 rpm (On our health or a mechanism like for example the standard intake motor)
    • Do we expect weird phenomena like steam that go up but slowdown faster? Or anything really weird like steam going down? :p
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2016 #2


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    The Earth has a radial gradient in gravity as well, and we can still have calm ponds and things like that. Obviously the gradient here is smaller than it would be in your example, but that doesn't mean that a fluid at rest would behave qualitatively differently.
  4. Sep 20, 2016 #3
    Hello boneh3ad. What troubles me is the cause of Coriolis, the gradient also but not so much. Let me give you an example.

    In the image bellow we assume that we have our centrifugal full of a liquid lets say water.
    The water is completely stable at start. Stable requires particles to move faster on a greater radius to follow exactly the walls (of the construct).

    Then we test a big "particle" lets say a ball that can sink.
    The ball has some specific linear speed and kinetic energy at the start of sink.

    While sinking ball hits faster moving particles.
    The ball cannot instantly gain that new linear speed required at this new radius..
    The ball gains the speed after a period of time. But while faster particles exchanged that energy, they lost kinetic energy.
    So the fast current became already slower.I see the ball as one of the particles. So any movement downwards can cause that.

    Faster particles on the other hand that happen to go up will be pushed to slow down .
    The water can only be re-stabilized again (gain correct speeds) after friction with the walls of the construct.

    Maybe liquids will tend to have a slow flow against the direction of spinning. That`s what i assume.. at least.
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