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Fluid Mechanics is the branch of physics that studies fluids (liquids, gases, and plasmas) and the forces on them. Fluid mechanics can be divided into fluid statics, the study of fluids at rest; fluid kinematics, the study of fluids in motion; and fluid dynamics, the study of the effect of forces on fluid motion. It is a branch of continuum mechanics, a subject which models matter without using the information that it is made out of atoms, that is, it models matter from a macroscopic viewpoint rather than from a microscopic viewpoint.
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Scope and Importance:
The study of fluid mechanics goes back at least to the days of ancient Greece, when Archimedes investigated fluid statics and buoyancy and formulated his famous law known now as the Archimedes' principle, which was published in his work On Floating Bodies - generally considered to be the first major work on fluid mechanics. Rapid advancement in fluid mechanics began with Leonardo da Vinci (observations and experiments), Evangelist Torricelli (invented the barometer), Isaac Newton (investigated viscosity) and Blaise Pascal (researched hydrostatics, formulated Pascal's law), and was continued by Daniel Bernoulli with the introduction of mathematical fluid dynamics in Hydrodynamic (1738)inviscid flow was further analyzed by various mathematicians (Leonhard Euler, Jean Le Rond Alembert, Joseph Louis Lagrange, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Simeon Denis Poisson) and viscous flow was explored by a multitude of engineers including Jean Leonard Marie Poiseuille and Gotthilf Hagen. Further mathematical justification was provided by Claude-Louis Navier and George Gabriel Stokes in the Navier–Stokes equations, and boundary layers were investigated (Ludwig Prandtl, Theodore Von Kármán), while various scientists such as Osborne Reynolds, Andrey Kolmogorov, and Geoffrey Ingram Taylor advanced the understanding of fluid viscosity and turbulence.
The Fluid Dynamics market is around $750M/year worldwide having grown at a remarkable average rate of about 13% year-on-year since 2000. The visible market potential globally for CFD in the near future has been estimated at $2.9bn showing that this market is far from saturated and is, in fact, a set of sub-vertical industries, each with their own particular needs and drivers. The latest cash injection into the industry will be split between the taxpayer and the private sector, led by an investment of £40m each in a programme steered by Rolls-Royce to develop greener aircraft engines. The announcement was rounded out by joint investments of £15m in 11 research and development projects, £6m in educating 500 aeronautical engineers to master's degree level and an extra £20m investment from the aerospace industry in a centre of excellence for aerodynamics. A new National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF) that will keep the UK at the forefront of aerodynamic and fluid mechanics research was announced today by David Willetts, Minister for Science and Universities, as he toured the Honda wind tunnel facilities at Imperial College London
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This page was last updated on September 24, 2023