# The Science Behind Two Liter Bottle Rockets The Science Behind Two Liter Bottle Rockets It Aint Rocket Science Aerodynamics

The word comes from two Greek words: aerios, concerning the air, and dynamis, which means force Aerodynamics is the study of forces and the resulting motion of objects through the air.

Center of Gravity Point where mass is evenly distributed The balance point Rocket would rotate around center of gravity

Center of Pressure Point where aerodynamic forces are equally distributed Rocket Stability In a stable rocket, the Center of Gravity (CG)

should be closer to the nose than the Center of Pressure (CP). Rocket Stability Ways to make Center of Gravity (CG) closer to the nose to increase stability

1. Make the rocket longer which moves the CG closer to nose. 2. Add weight to nose which moves CG closer to nose. Rocket Stability

Ways to make Center of Pressure (CP) further from the nose to increase stability 1. Place the fins as far to the bottom of the bottle as possible. 2. Do NOT make the fins too large. 3. Select a fin shape that is larger at the bottom

than the top (triangle). Newtons Laws of Motion Newtons 1 Law of Motion st

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Newtons 1 Law of Motion

st How does this law apply to rockets? Newtons 2 Law of Motion nd

Acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass (of the object being accelerated) the greater the amount of force needed (to accelerate the object).

Newtons 2 Law of Motion nd How does this law apply to rockets? The heavier the rocket, the more force must be

applied to get the same acceleration. Newtons 3 Law of Motion rd For every action there is an equal and

opposite reaction. Newtons 3 Law of Motion rd How does this law apply to rockets?

As the water and air shoot out of the bottom of the bottle (action), the rocket is thrust Upward (reaction). Forces Acting on a Rocket

A rocket undergoes several forces during flight Gravity A natural phenomenon where objects of mass attract each other

Gravity gives weight to physical objects and causes them to fall toward the ground when dropped. Drag Sometimes called air resistance A type of friction

Forces acting opposite the relative motion of any object Thrust Thrust is a reaction force quantitatively by Newtons 2nd and 3rd Laws of Motion

When something expels or accelerates mass in one direction, the accelerated mass will cause a force of equal magnitude but opposite direction on the mass which is the force called thrust Rocket Launch