The acceleration of a light buoyant object in a fluid is analyzed. Misconceptions about the magnitude of that acceleration are briefly described and refuted. The notion of the added mass is explained and the added mass is computed for an ellipsoid of revolution. A simple approximation scheme is employed to derive the added mass of a slender body. The slender-body limit is non-analytic, indicating a singular character of the perturbation due to the thickness of the body. An experimental determination of the acceleration is presented and found to agree well with the theoretical prediction. The added mass illustrates the concept of mass renormalization in an accessible manner.
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PAPERS| March 01 2019
Acceleration due to buoyancy and mass renormalization
Kyle McKee, Andrzej Czarnecki; Acceleration due to buoyancy and mass renormalization. Am. J. Phys. 1 March 2019; 87 (3): 165–170. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5089205
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