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Interesting Aerodynamics Research topics

  1. Sep 9, 2012 #1
    Hi everyone, first off i'd like to thank you all for maintaining this awesome forum, seems really cool :D

    I wasn't sure whether this should be in the homework forums or not, but since i'm not asking for any solution of some sorts, i decided to post here.

    I'm a senior highschool student, and in order to graduate we have to make a research paper.
    The paper is something we have to work on all year long, and should be a genuine 'scientific' research.
    Since i'm interested in physics i chose this domain for my research, but now i still have to find a good subject. :)
    The subject should be formulated as a research question.

    I was thinking somewhere around aerodynamics, more specifically i'd like to build a small (non-perfect) wind tunnel.
    However i don't really know what to 'research' once i would have built such a thing, so that's why i decided to post here. :)
    What researches, tests or experiments could one do with a DIY windtunnel?
    Any other fun suggestions, aerodynamics or not, are welcome as well. :)
    Thanks in advance :D
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2012 #2

    mfb

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    Staff: Mentor

    Measure the force on different objects with different shapes/sizes/materials/wind speeds/air temperature/whatever?
    You'll probably see the usual relations for air resistance as function of those parameters, and maybe some deviations which you can analyse.
     
  4. Sep 9, 2012 #3

    CWatters

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    Sounds like what you need is a problem...

    The rules for F1 racing cars may soon be changed to allow enclosed drivers for safety reasons. Perhaps investigate if that will increase or reduce drag by testing models. Perhaps not of the whole car!
     
  5. Sep 10, 2012 #4

    Bobbywhy

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    Gold Member

    Skatelenneke, Welcome to Physics Forums!

    Google is your friend. I used these search terms in Google : “flow visualization techniques in wind tunnels" and found lots of information related to wind tunnels.

    First, you may want to start here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_tunnel

    Then, this looks interesting (to me, anyway):
    “Step-by-step instructions (1.64 MB pdf file) for building the flow visualization wind tunnel are available from this web page, by clicking on the yellow button:
    It requires moderate shop skills with hand tools, but less than $100 worth of materials to build the tunnel. Photographs detail the construction process. The tunnel can be used as part of a science fair project, or used to study how air flows past a variety of models. “
    http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/tunsmoke.html

    One more site that may be useful:
    “Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics
    How do airplanes work? Why does a wing change shape on takeoff and landing? This site was built for middle school to college students.”
    http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/index.html

    Once you make some plans for your project, do come back here to PF and post any questions or doubts you may have. Here our members are ready and able to help anyone who is interested in learning science and is a true searcher.

    Cheers,
    Bobbywhy
     
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