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top: high drag on a less aerodynamic shape
bottom: low drag on a more aerodynamic shape
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The dynamics of bodies moving relative to gases, especially the interaction of moving objects with the atmosphere.
aer′o·dy·nam′i·cist (-ĭ-sĭst) n.
(General Physics) (functioning as singular) the study of the dynamics of gases, esp of the forces acting on a body passing through air. Compare aerostatics1
aer•o•dy•nam•ics(ˌɛər oʊ daɪˈnæm ɪks)
n. (used with a sing. v.)
the study of the motion of air and other gases and of the effects of such motion on bodies in the gas.
aer`o•dy•nam′ic, aer`o•dy•nam′i•cal, adj.
The study of the movement of air and other gases and of the forces involved in their movements. It is also the study of the way objects, such as cars and airplanes, interact with air when they are moving through it.
Did You Know? The two primary forces in aerodynamics are lift and drag. Lift refers to forces perpendicular to the surface of an object (such as an airplane wing) that is traveling through the air. For example, airplane wings are designed so that when they move through the air, an area of low pressure is created above the wing; the low pressure produces a lift force that pulls the wing upward (in a direction perpendicular to the wing's broad surface), and the wing pulls the airplane up with it. Drag forces, which are parallel to the object's surface, are usually caused by friction. Drag makes it more difficult for airplane wings to slice through the air, and so drag forces push against the forward motion of the craft. Large wings usually generate a lot of lift, but they also produce a lot of drag. In designing airplane wings, engineers need to take into account such factors as the speed and altitude at which the plane will fly, so that they can find a wing shape that balances lift and drag as well as possible.
the branch of dynamics that studies the motions of air and other gases, especially with regard to bodies in motion in these substances. See also aviation. — aerodynamic, aerodynamical, adj.See also: Atmosphere
The study of the flow of gases, especially air.