form drag

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The difference between the pressure acting on the front surface of a body moving through a fluid and the pressure acting on its rear surface. Form drag of an asymmetrical body depends on its orientation to the direction of free fluid flow. It increases with the cross-sectional area of the body aligned perpendicular to the flow. It is also affected by the shape and smoothness of the body; streamlining helps to minimize form drag. Cyclists and, to a lesser extent runners, reduce form drag by following closely behind another participant (a process called drafting).

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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