Aerodynamics is a branch of fluid dynamics that studies the motion of gas, particularly when it interacts with a solid object. Through studying the motion of air, the flow field which includes the velocity, pressure, density and temperature as a function of spatial position and time can be calculated. With use of aerodynamics and mathematical analysis, wind tunnel experiments, empirical approximations and computer simulations can be analysed. Aerodynamic properties have been utilized for thousands of years with sailboats, airplanes and windmills.

The two most important concepts of in aerodynamics are continuum and drag. Archimedes stated that a fluid is a continuous substance and can mathematically be treated as a continuum. This strengthened the notion of pressure. Sir Isaac Newton was the first to develop a theory of air resistance and later formulated the theory of drag. In the 20th century, the Wright brothers were the first to launch an aircraft and therefore confirmed and disproved many theories in aerodynamics.

Aerodynamics, like fluid dynamics, is important in a number of applications. Aerospace engineering utilized aerodynamics in order to maintain flight. Vehicle designers use aerodynamics to reduce drag and make automobiles travel faster. Structural engineers use aerodynamics to calculate wind loads on buildings and bridges. Aerodynamics is used by environmental scientists in order to study the atmospheric circulation. Although aerodynamics is currently not being extensively researched, the principles that have already been formulated are used every day.

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 21, 2019, 8:42 am ad1c9bdddf