All Physics Faculty Publications

Title

Dynamics of Falling Raindrops

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

European Journal of Physics

Volume

22

Issue

2

Publisher

Institute of Physics

Publication Date

3-2001

First Page

113

Last Page

118

DOI

doi:10.1088/0143-0807/22/2/302

Abstract

A standard undergraduate mechanics problem involves a raindrop which grows in size as it falls through a mist of suspended water droplets. Ignoring air drag, the asymptotic drop acceleration is g/7, independent of the mist density and the drop radius. Here we show that air drag overwhelms mist drag, producing drop accelerations of order 10-3g. Analytical solutions are facilitated by a new empirical form of the air drag coefficient C = 12R-1/2, which agrees with experimental data on liquid drops in the Reynolds-number range 10<R<1000 relevant to precipitating spherical drops. Solutions including air drag are within reach of students of intermediate mechanics and nonlinear>dynamics.

Comments

http://iopscience.iop.org/0143-0807/22/2/302

Published by the Institute of Physics in European Journal of Physics. Publisher PDF is available through the link above. Publisher requires a subscription to access the article.

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