A Laboratory Experiment on how to Create Dimensionless Correlations


  • Robert V. Edwards Case Western Reserve University


An experiment is described that illustrates how chemical engineering correlations are created. Balls of different diameters and different specific gravities (all less than one) are dropped from several heights into a pool of water, and the maximum depth reached by the ball is measured. This data is used to estimate the coefficients for a correlation developed through consideration of the underlying physics, and maximum likelihood techniques are used to estimate the experimental variance in these estimated coefficients.

Author Biography

Robert V. Edwards, Case Western Reserve University

Robert V. Edwards was a professor of chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. He carried out his undergraduate and graduate education at Johns Hopkins University, and received his doctoral degree in 1968. His research interests included dynamic laser light scattering, stochastic modeling, statistical data processing, and turbulence measurement techniques. He was a fellow of the AIChE. Prof. Edwards passed away in December 2008.