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Bernoulli’s Theorem (Daniel Bernoulli, 1738)

Bernoulli's principle is named after the Dutch-Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli who published his principle in his book Hydrodynamica in 1738. Bernoulli's principle can be derived from the principle of conservation of energy. This states that, in a steady flow, the sum of all forms of mechanical energy in a fluid along a streamline is the same at all points on that streamline. This requires that the sum of kinetic energy and potential energy remain constant. If the fluid is flowing out of a reservoir the sum of all forms of energy is the same on all streamlines because in a reservoir the energy per unit mass (the sum of pressure and gravitational potential ρ g h) is the same everywhere.

Bernoulli’s theorem, in fluid dynamics, relation among the pressure, velocity, and elevation in a moving fluid (liquid or gas), the compressibility and viscosity (internal friction) of which are negligible and the flow of which is steady, or laminar. First derived (1738) by the Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli, the theorem states, in effect, that the total mechanical energy of the flowing fluid, comprising the energy associated with fluid pressure, the gravitational potential energy of elevation, and the kinetic energy of fluid motion, remains constant. Bernoulli’s theorem is the principle of energy conservation for ideal fluids in steady, or streamline, flow.

Bernoulli’s theorem implies, therefore, that if the fluid flows horizontally so that no change in gravitational potential energy occurs, then a decrease in fluid pressure is associated with an increase in fluid velocity. If the fluid is flowing through a horizontal pipe of varying cross-sectional area, for example, the fluid speeds up in constricted areas so that the pressure the fluid exerts is least where the cross section is smallest. This phenomenon is sometimes called the Venturi effect, after the Italian scientist G.B. Venturi (1746–1822), who first noted the effects of constricted channels on fluid flow.

Bernoulli’s theorem is the basis for many engineering applications, such as aircraft-wing design. The air flowing over the upper curved surface of an aircraft wing moves faster than the air beneath the wing, so that the pressure underneath is greater than that on the top of the wing, causing lift.

civil engineering
Bernoulli's Theorem

Bernoulli’s theorem is based on a few assumptions.
  • The fluid is incompressible and nonviscous.
  • There is no energy loss due to friction between the fluid and the wall of the pipe. 
  • There is no heat energy transferred across the boundaries of the pipe to the fluid as either a heat gain or loss.
  • There are no pumps in the section of pipe under consideration. 
  • The fluid flow is laminar and steady state.

civil engineering
Applications of Bernoulli's Theorem


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