Unit Planner: Fluid dynamics and forced oscillations

Unit: Fluid dynamics and forced oscillations

Start date:

End date:

Diploma assessment

When will the content be assessed?

Paper 1
Paper 2
Paper 3 x
Investigation x

Text book reference

Hamper - online resources

Inquiry: Establishing the purpose of the unit

Transfer Goals
List here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer goals are the major goals that ask students to “transfer”, or apply, their knowledge, skills, and concepts at the end of the unit under new/different circumstances, and on their own without scaffolding from the teacher.

  • To understand the physical quantities that describe the movement of fluids through pipes and how these are measured
  • To understand the factors that affect the damping of oscillating motion and how to achieve resonance

List here the key content that students will know by the end of the unit

Fluid dynamics

  • Define streamlines and flowlines.

Damped harmonic motion

  • Define damped harmonic motion.

Forced oscillations and resonance

  • Describe examples of forced harmonic motion.
  • Describe examples of resonance. 

List here the key skills that students will develop by the end of the unit.

Fluid dynamics

  • Derive and use the continuity equation.
  • Derive and use the Bernoulli equation
  • Derive the equation for the Venturi meter.

Damped harmonic motion

  • Investigate damped harmonic motion.
  • Sketch graphs for under, over and critically damped motions.
  • Calculate the Q factor from energy time graphs.

Forced oscillations and resonance

  • Investigate the phase relationship between driver and driven.
  • Sketch graphs to show the effect of changing Q value on resonance curves.

List here the key concepts that students will understand by the end of the unit

Fluid dynamics

  • Understand the principle of the Venturi meter.

Damped harmonic motion

  • Understand how an opposing force brings about damping.

Examples of real world practical applications of knowledge.

  • Pressure measurements in fluids
  • Uses and effects of laminar and turbulent flow
  • If a car suspension system wasn't damped the ride would be very uncomfortable
  • The radio receiver uses a tuned circuit to resonate with the frequency of the selected channel
  • An MR scanner uses the resonance of nuclei oscillating between two states in a magnetic field to produce pictures of soft tissue

Action: teaching and learning through Inquiry

Approaches to teaching
Tick boxes to indicate pedagogical approaches used.

Lecture x
Simulation x
Small group work (pairs) x
Hands on practical x
Video x
Student centred inquiry x

Examples of how TOK can be introduced in this unit

  • People often call the the dampers in a car's suspension system shock absorbers. The whole unit is the shock absorber the damper is the telescopic thing in the middle (which also absorbs shock).
  • For years the Tocama narrows bridge collapse has been used as an example of resonance, however it appears that this isn't resonance but some sort of positive feedback. Is it OK to sometimes tell "white lies" to make a point?

Examples of how NOS can be introduced in this unit.

  • By adapting our equation for SHM we can show that an opposing force will exponentially reduce the amplitude of an oscillation.
  • Adding a term to the equation for damped harmonic motion gives the result that if the driving frequency equals the natural frequency the amplitude will be high.

Tests, exams and marked labs


What went well
List the portions of the unit (content, assessment, planning) that were successful

What didn’t work well
List the portions of the unit (content, assessment, planning) that were not as successful as hoped

List any notes, suggestions, or considerations for the future teaching of this unit.

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