<< Chapter < Page | Chapter >> Page > |
The aorta is the principal blood vessel through which blood leaves the heart in order to circulate around the body. (a) Calculate the average speed of the blood in the aorta if the flow rate is 5.0 L/min. The aorta has a radius of 10 mm. (b) Blood also flows through smaller blood vessels known as capillaries. When the rate of blood flow in the aorta is 5.0 L/min, the speed of blood in the capillaries is about 0.33 mm/s. Given that the average diameter of a capillary is $8.0\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\mu \text{m}$ , calculate the number of capillaries in the blood circulatory system.
Strategy
We can use $Q=A\overline{v}$ to calculate the speed of flow in the aorta and then use the general form of the equation of continuity to calculate the number of capillaries as all of the other variables are known.
Solution for (a)
The flow rate is given by $Q=A\overline{v}$ or $\overline{v}=\frac{Q}{{\mathrm{\pi r}}^{2}}$ for a cylindrical vessel.
Substituting the known values (converted to units of meters and seconds) gives
Solution for (b)
Using ${n}_{1}{A}_{1}{\overline{v}}_{1}={n}_{2}{A}_{2}{\overline{v}}_{1}$ , assigning the subscript 1 to the aorta and 2 to the capillaries, and solving for ${n}_{2}$ (the number of capillaries) gives ${n}_{2}=\frac{{n}_{1}{A}_{1}{\overline{v}}_{1}}{{A}_{2}{\overline{v}}_{2}}$ . Converting all quantities to units of meters and seconds and substituting into the equation above gives
Discussion
Note that the speed of flow in the capillaries is considerably reduced relative to the speed in the aorta due to the significant increase in the total cross-sectional area at the capillaries. This low speed is to allow sufficient time for effective exchange to occur although it is equally important for the flow not to become stationary in order to avoid the possibility of clotting. Does this large number of capillaries in the body seem reasonable? In active muscle, one finds about 200 capillaries per ${\text{mm}}^{3}$ , or about $\text{200}\times {\text{10}}^{6}$ per 1 kg of muscle. For 20 kg of muscle, this amounts to about $4\times {\text{10}}^{9}$ capillaries.
A horizontally oriented hypodermic syringe has a barrel diameter of 1.2 cm and a needle diameter of 2.4 mm. A plunger pushes liquid in the barrel at a rate of 4.0 mm/s. Calculate the flow rate of liquid in both parts of the syringe (in mL/s) and the velocity of the liquid emerging from the needle.
Solution:
First, calculate the area of both parts of the syringe:
Next, we can use the continuity equation to find the velocity of the liquid in the smaller part of the barrel ( v _{2} ):
Double-check the numbers to be sure that the flow rate in both parts of the syringe is the same:
Finally, by converting to mL/s:
Notification Switch
Would you like to follow the 'College physics for ap® courses' conversation and receive update notifications?