Fluid Flow Home Page

Continuum Mechanics

Fluid dynamics is the study of fluids in motion. The fundamentals of the study of fluid flow were first investigated by Euler and Bernoulli in the 18th century. Since then the subject has been an active field of research, and it remains so to this day. This is partly because of the ubiquity of fluids around us. The engineering applications of the subject are numerous and diverse : aircraft, ships and cars all move through fluids, and so their design depends partly on an understanding of the properties and behaviour of fluids. Air flows around buildings, water flow through channels and the behaviour of gases in internal combustion engines are some of the other examples of how fluid flow affects our lives. Fluid dynamics also has important applications in other areas of science, such as biology (blood flow in the body, insect flight), meteorology (prediction of weather and climate), astronomy (gas flows in galaxies, structure of stars) and oceanography (ocean currents). Finally, in addition to its important applications, and despite more than 200 years of study, our understanding of the physics of fluid flow is still not complete. The basic equations describing fluid flow, the Navier-Stokes equations, have been known for more than 150 years. However these equations are non-linear, and so exhibit a complex variety of behaviour which is not easy to predict or even describe. Analytical solutions to these equations are rare, particularly in the complex regime of turbulence, and so to study fluid flows we must use a range of techniques : analytical, experimental and computational.

The purpose of this website is to act as a repository for materials relating to the study of fluid dynamics. I lecture a number of modules at the School of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Exeter, and so this site contains resources developed for these courses (follow the "Courses" button on the toolbar on the right). However the site is not tied to the courses, and I am hoping that it will grow into a general resource for all those interested in the study of fluid flow. If you have comments on this site or would like to contribute in any way, please email me.

Gavin Tabor.