Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Dimensional Analysis in Physics and the Buckingham Theorem

Here's a paper that might be useful to physics students:

"Dimensional analysis in physics and the Buckingham theorem", T. Misic et al., Eur. J. Phys. 31 893 (2010).

Abstract: Dimensional analysis is a simple, clear and intuitive method for determining the functional dependence of physical quantities that are of importance to a certain process. However, in physics textbooks, very little space is usually given to this approach and it is often presented only as a diagnostic tool used to determine the validity of dependences otherwise obtained. This paper presents the basics of dimensional analysis in two cases: the resistance force of the fluid that occurs when a body moves through it and the speed of propagation of waves on water. After that, a general approach to dimensional analysis based on the Buckingham theorem is shown. The material presented in the paper could be useful to both students of physics and physics graduates.

You can get a free download of the actual paper during the first 30 days that it appears online. This paper appeared on 8 June 2010.


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