Question from watching a water fountain today

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In summary, the water fountain at a rally appeared to have a wide pattern of flow based on the height at which the water reached the top. It makes sense intuitively, but an expert on physics would be able to explain how it works in detail.
  • #1
curt2121
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so i was watchign a water fountain during a rally here today and was watchign the fountain in the middle and was wondering why (physically) when the water reaches the top it begins fallign in such a wide pattern. it makes sense to me intuitively but i don't know enough about physics to know just how it works. is it related to bernoulli's equation somehow? THat was my only thought when seeing it that maybe the spread of the water at the top can depend on the diameter of the pipe emitting the water and the pressure with which the water is pumped (and therefore the height it reaches) does any of that make sense? Am i even close to understanding just how this works? I guess that week off made my brain want to be used again so I'm pretty curious now. thanks!
 
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  • #2
well obviously it can't fall downwards as more water is coming from there so it must be pushed outwards somewhat as it moves past the water moving up. this gives it a certain initial horizontal velocity which sort of makes it behave like a projectile, or at least you could do a rough model of the motion of those droplets using those equations
 
  • #3
well yes that part is true, but the stream of water seemed to get wider as the height increased. why is that?
 
  • #4
I've often wondered how a stream of urine initiates and maintains a uniform flow. No kidding!
 
  • #5
If you start at the origin and roll a ball bunch of balls, one after another, in the x-direction, and then nudge each one in the y-direction a little once it reaches x=5, then the balls farthest from the x-axis will also be the ones farthest from the y-axis. My guess is that the water molecules in the stream don't go exactly straight up, so they undergo glancing collisions with other molecules in the stream, and this gives them a sideways nudge. This nudge gives them sideways momentum, and as they carry on upwards, this momentum carries them farther from the center of the stream as well. So the molecules that are higher up have been in the air longer, and hence have had sideways momentum for a longer time, and hence are further out to the side. That's my guess.
 
  • #6
Loren Booda said:
I've often wondered how a stream of urine initiates and maintains a uniform flow. No kidding!

If you're my age it doesn't. I went to a u/r doc last year about my prostate and he said it wasn't that, but rather "mucus in the urethra". He offered no help. Not all the guys who leave spots and puddles in the men's room are doing it deliberately. Would you believe sideways? Yep, a real right angle.
 
  • #7
FunkyDwarf said:
as for the urine the penis is built like a gun barrel with spirals to keep it going straight :)

Everybody's? Rats! I thought I was special.
 

Related to Question from watching a water fountain today

1. How does a water fountain work?

A water fountain works by using a motor to pump water from a reservoir to the top of the fountain, where it then falls back down into the reservoir, creating a continuous cycle of water flow.

2. Why do some water fountains have different shapes and sizes?

The shape and size of a water fountain can depend on its intended purpose and design. Some fountains are purely decorative, while others are designed for drinking or to aerate the water.

3. What is the purpose of the spray nozzles in a water fountain?

Spray nozzles in a water fountain help to create different patterns and shapes of water flow, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the fountain.

4. How are water fountains maintained?

Water fountains require regular maintenance to keep them clean and functioning properly. This includes cleaning the pump, filters, and nozzles, as well as regularly checking for any leaks or damage.

5. What are the benefits of having a water fountain?

Water fountains can provide a calming and relaxing atmosphere, add to the visual appeal of a space, and can also help to purify and circulate air by releasing negative ions into the environment.

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