Alvaro Suarez, Mateo Dutra, Martin Monteiro, Arturo C. Marti
Bernoulli's equation, which relates the pressure of an ideal fluid in motion with its velocity and height under certain conditions, is a central topic in General Physics courses for Science and Engineering students. This equation, frequently used both textbooks as in science outreach activities or museums, is often extrapolated to explain situations in which it is no longer valid. A common example is to assume that, in any situation, higher speed means lower pressure, a conclusion that is only acceptable under certain conditions. In this paper we report the results of an investigation with university students on some misconceptions present in fluid dynamics. We found that after completing the General Physics courses, many students have not developed a correct model about the interaction of a fluid element with its environment and extrapolate the idea that higher speed implies lower pressure in situations where it is no longer valid. We also show that an approach to fluid dynamics based on Newton's laws is more natural to address these misconceptions.
Comments: 13 pages, in spanish