# 12.2 Bernoulli’s equation

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## Making connections: take-home investigation with two strips of paper

For a good illustration of Bernoulli’s principle, make two strips of paper, each about 15 cm long and 4 cm wide. Hold the small end of one strip up to your lips and let it drape over your finger. Blow across the paper. What happens? Now hold two strips of paper up to your lips, separated by your fingers. Blow between the strips. What happens?

## Velocity measurement

[link] shows two devices that measure fluid velocity based on Bernoulli’s principle. The manometer in [link] (a) is connected to two tubes that are small enough not to appreciably disturb the flow. The tube facing the oncoming fluid creates a dead spot having zero velocity ( ${v}_{1}=0$ ) in front of it, while fluid passing the other tube has velocity ${v}_{2}$ . This means that Bernoulli’s principle as stated in ${P}_{1}+\frac{1}{2}{\mathrm{\rho v}}_{1}^{2}={P}_{2}+\frac{1}{2}{\mathrm{\rho v}}_{2}^{2}$ becomes

${P}_{1}={P}_{2}+\frac{1}{2}{\mathrm{\rho v}}_{2}^{2}\text{.}$

Thus pressure ${P}_{2}$ over the second opening is reduced by $\frac{1}{2}{\mathrm{\rho v}}_{2}^{2}$ , and so the fluid in the manometer rises by $h$ on the side connected to the second opening, where

$h\propto \frac{1}{2}{\mathrm{\rho v}}_{2}^{2}\text{.}$

(Recall that the symbol $\text{∝}$ means “proportional to.”) Solving for ${v}_{2}$ , we see that

${v}_{2}\propto \sqrt{h}\text{.}$

[link] (b) shows a version of this device that is in common use for measuring various fluid velocities; such devices are frequently used as air speed indicators in aircraft.

## Summary

• Bernoulli’s equation states that the sum on each side of the following equation is constant, or the same at any two points in an incompressible frictionless fluid:
${P}_{1}+\frac{1}{2}{\mathrm{\rho v}}_{1}^{2}+\rho {\mathrm{gh}}_{1}={P}_{2}+\frac{1}{2}{\mathrm{\rho v}}_{2}^{2}+\rho {\text{gh}}_{2}.$
• Bernoulli’s principle is Bernoulli’s equation applied to situations in which depth is constant. The terms involving depth (or height h ) subtract out, yielding
${P}_{1}+\frac{1}{2}{\mathrm{\rho v}}_{1}^{2}={P}_{2}+\frac{1}{2}{\mathrm{\rho v}}_{2}^{2}.$
• Bernoulli’s principle has many applications, including entrainment, wings and sails, and velocity measurement.

## Conceptual questions

You can squirt water a considerably greater distance by placing your thumb over the end of a garden hose and then releasing, than by leaving it completely uncovered. Explain how this works.

Water is shot nearly vertically upward in a decorative fountain and the stream is observed to broaden as it rises. Conversely, a stream of water falling straight down from a faucet narrows. Explain why, and discuss whether surface tension enhances or reduces the effect in each case.

Look back to [link] . Answer the following two questions. Why is ${P}_{\text{o}}$ less than atmospheric? Why is ${P}_{\text{o}}$ greater than ${P}_{\text{i}}$ ?

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