Bubbles in Flowing Fluid

Most recent answer: 09/02/2013

I am just thinking about this phenomenon: We have a horizontal pipeline with a flowing liquid, which contains a small bubble of gas. How do the dimensions of this bubble change when it reaches a narrower point of the pipeline? Is there any application of this phenomena? Could it cause any problem? (Assume that the flow is laminar.) Thank you!
- Petra Tanovic (age 16)
Trnava, Slovakia

That's an interesting question. According to Bernoulli's principle, the pressure will be lower in the fast-flowing fluid in the narrow region. That means the bubble, which is highly compressible, will be bigger there. I don't know much about fluid flow, but you could imagine that leading to some sort of instability. There probably are applications but I don't know them.

Mike W.

(published on 09/02/2013)