The Physics of the Circulatory System

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The Physics of the Circulatory System


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The Physics of the Circulatory System

Physics is known to be a natural science. It majorly entails the study of matter and the motion of matter through time and space, along with related concepts such as force and energy. Does the circulatory system apply concepts in physics as the blood circulates through the entire system? The circulatory system’s main objective is to transport blood throughout all the necessary parts of the body. The blood in effect transports nutrients and oxygen to these body parts and wastes away from these body parts to the organs that excrete them out of the body. The heart is the nerve center of the circulatory system. This is so as it is this organ that pumps the blood that carries both the nutrients and wastes to the appropriate parts of the body.

The flow of fluids in the circulatory system obeys the law of bulk flow. The equation for the law of bulk flow is given by: Q = rP / R where Q is the flow rate, R the resistance and rP the pressure gradient. These fluids such as the blood flow down pressure gradients. There is a physical relationship between the radius of the blood vessels and the resistance of the fluid flow. According to the Poiseuille’s equation, the relationship between the resistance and the radius is inversely proportional. This means that a small change in the radius would result in large changes in the resistance of the flow. The body uses this concept in controlling the flow of the fluids in the circulatory system through vasodilatation and vasoconstriction.

In addition to the above two laws, the total flow of blood also follows the principle of the law of conservation of mass. This is true as for the fluid to flow in the circulatory system; there must be equality of the flow through each segment of the entire circulatory system.  Moreover, the total flow of the fluids is constant throughout the circulatory system’s part. This is vital to ensure that the circulation remains uninterrupted all through.

The resistance in circuits always depends on whether the electric current flow is in a series or parallel arrangement. Does the circulatory system apply this concept too? The blood circulatory system’s flow is aligned in terms of parallel and series arrangements. (Volna, Latal, & Richterek, 2013) When in parallel arrangement, the total resistance is the sum of the inverse of the individual resistance whereas in series arrangements the total resistance is the sum of the individual resistances. The velocity of the flow of blood is given by Q/A where A is the total cross-sectional area of the vessels. From the equation above, it can be deciphered that a decrease in the cross-sectional area would result in an increase in the velocity of the fluid flow. The reverse is also true.

Is diffusion necessary in the circulatory system? In the circulatory system, those regions that engage in the exchange of food substances, oxygen and waste products are observed to have relatively higher cross-sectional areas than those that don’t. (K, 2013) The increase in surface area is meant to reduce the velocity of flow so as to create ample time for diffusion. Moving forward, how are the effects of pressure accounted for in the blood vessels? The bloods vessels of organisms are reasonably built depending on the amount of force exerted on their walls. The Aorta which tends to endure high blood pressures is built with very thick and stronger walls. On the other hand, the arteriole which endures e.............

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