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Nondimensionlization of Pressure

  1. Aug 21, 2007 #1
    Hi all.
    When I read through text in fluid mechanics, I see various ways of non-dimensionlising the pressure. (Please see the figure)

    To me, non-dimensionlize a quantity is to make it of order unity to facilitate the mathematical processes needed afterwards.
    So, I can understand why density*gravity*H is used as a characteristic scale to non-dimensionlize the pressure since it is the maximum hydrostatic pressure.

    But I don't understand why density*U^2 is used to non-dimensionalize the pressure as well? In what situation is this nondimensionlization valid?

    What about the P(infinity), what is it?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2007 #2


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    The second two numbers are actually referred to as the Euler number (ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler_number_(physics)). It is another dimensionless number. I don't really use it myself (I don't need to stray too much from the Reynolds number), but my handy, dandy fluids reference lists it as a useful number when dealing with pressure differences, such as in cavitation analyses. Actually, the third version you show is what is listed for a cavitation analysis (without a .5 factor) where the P is actually a reference pressure and the [tex]P_{\infinity}[/tex] is the vapor pressure of the working fluid.

    Omega Engineering has a neat poster you can request that has a ton of dimensionless numbers and their uses. You can also look at a lot of them here on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Dimensionless_numbers
  4. Aug 21, 2007 #3
    Thanks. But why density * U^2 is used to non-dimensionlize the pressure? I don't understand the rationale behind...
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