Lift and Wings

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2 Responses to Lift and Wings

  1. alfy says:

    The Maths Dept of Nottingham University is to be congratulated. This a complex argument and it is very cogently set out. The graphics animations were just right to illustrate the points being made. I have always been a bit doubtful about the explanations of how a plane flies, but do not have enough physics/maths knowledge to offer anything better.
    The main theme of the talk is that it is all more complicated than you think. Having explained it all to the other voice in front of the speaker, it was clear from his question at the end, that he had failed to grasp this. You cannot just pull out momentum from the three issues, and say, “This is the important one,” because they all hang together.
    One of the issues only touched on lightly, is the argument from “goal-directed behaviour” because this is always unscientific, whether in biology, chemistry or physics. For example, “The air passing over the top of the wing has further to go, so it must travel faster to catch up with the air below.” Can you see that you are imputing forethought to the air particles? This is nonsense. As the Professor rightly pointed out, they don’t catch up at all, anyway.
    It is probably my suspicion of GDB that makes me unhappy with standard explanations of the flight mechanism, rather than the basic physics.
    Incidentally, I loved Leonhardt Euler’s hat. Don’t you think that all mathematicians should be encouraged to get themselves one?
    This video clip should be sent to the Chemistry Dept at Nottingham, to show how it should be done, without any need for vigorous hand-waving. Only the cluttered background is a pity.

    • Deskarati says:

      Excellent comment Alfy. You have put my exact thoughts into words much better than I could have myself and I also agree about Euler’s hat!

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