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Magnus Pipe

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Watch the video on YouTube.

What kind of experiment is this?

Experimental procedure and explanation:

  • The “Magnus Pipe” was devised by Professor Masami Fujita (Japan Coast Guard Academy) and inspired by the Magnus Cup.
  • This device utilizes the lift force created by an object rotating in a flow.
  • When flown with the rotation depicted in the figure above, the flow speed on the lower side decreases because the direction of rotation is opposite to the flow direction; this increases the pressure. However, on the upper side, the flow speed increases because the direction of rotation is the same as the flow; this decreases the pressure. The difference in pressures between the top and bottom creates a lift, making the object fly.
  • This lift created on rotating objects in a flow is called the “Magnus effect.”
  • This device has evolved from the Magnus Cup in that it is lighter, smaller, and is equipped with end plates that make the lift force larger. Therefore, it follows a unique flight pattern that loops around in the air. Since the lift force is perpendicular to the direction of flight, the flight path traces a loop when the rotation speed is high enough.
  • Please see the attached document for details on how to make it.
[Keywords] Magnus effect, Bernoulli’s theorem
[Related items] Magnus Cup
[Reference] “Materials and directions” (attached), by Masami Fujita
“Magnus Effect on Flying Pipe with Rotation,” by Masami Fujita, Nozomu Kawamura, Takuya Sakamoto and Keiko Okada, Physics Education, Volume 60, Issue 3 (2012), pp. 173–178.
“The Wonders of Flow,” Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering, Kodansha Blue Backs pp. 170–173.
“Illustrated Fluid Dynamics Trivia,” by Ryozo Ishiwata, Natsume Publishing, pp. 196–197 and pp. 90–95.
Last Update:1.21.2015