Many types of race cars depend on negative lift (also called downforce) to push them down against the track surface so they can take turns quickly without sliding out into the track wall. Part of the negative lift on a car is due to one or more wings on the car, and in the wind tunnel photograph here, smoke released at the front of the car reveals how the air flows over the car and past the wing at the rear. The rest of the negative lift is called ground effect and has to do with the airflow beneath the car. Ground effect is dependable when a car is the only one taking a turn as in, say, a time trial, but a skilled driver knows that ground effect can disappear during a race.
What causes ground effect and why can it disappear?
The answers are in this chapter.
The physics of fluids is the basis of hydraulic engineering, a branch of engineering that is applied in a great many fields. A nuclear engineer might study the fluid flow in the hydraulic system of an aging nuclear reactor, while a medical engineer might study the blood flow in the arteries of an aging patient. An environmental engineer might be concerned about the drainage from waste sites or the efficient irrigation of farmlands. A naval engineer might be concerned with the dangers faced by a deep-sea ...