Shape And Drag
Moving automobiles and airplanes experience a resistance or drag due to the force of air sticking to the surface. Another source of resistance is pressure drag, which is due to a phenomenon known as flow separation. This happens when there is an abrupt change in the shape of the moving object, and the fluid is unable to make a sudden change in flow direction and stays with the boundary. In this case, the boundary layer gets detached from the body, and a region of low pressure turbulence or wake is formed below it. This creates a drag on the vehicle due to the higher pressure in the front. That is why aerodynamically designed cars are shaped so that the boundary layer remains attached to the body longer, creating a smaller wake and, therefore, less drag. There are many examples in nature of shape modification for drag control. The sea anemone, for instance, continuously adjusts its form to the ocean currents in order to avoid being swept away while gathering food.
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