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Fluid Mechanics

Fluid mechanics plays a major role in engineering and physics. Engineers use it for such things as aircraft design and oil recovery. Physicists use it to understand such things as the inside of stars or subatomic quark-gluon plasmas. However, the internals of fluid mechanics are fundamentally mathematical in nature, the most fundamental being the Navier-Stokes equations. Stokes was a Cambridge mathematics professor and made contributions to other areas of mathematics too.

As such it is not surprising there is a fluid mechanics course available in the Cambridge undergraduate mathematics degree. The first course is in the second year, with the third and fourth years having ever increasing numbers of more specialised fluids courses available. In recent years the course has been regularly lectured by Professor M. E. McIntyre and his lecture notes are available online here. They cover the following;

  • Conservation rules
  • Vector calculus interpretations of flow
  • Boundary layer
  • Bernoulli’s (streamline) theorem and Kelvin’s circulation theorem
  • Potential flow, including several analytic solutions and a study of lift
  • Surface and interface waves and oscillations

This is a 2nd year lecture course.

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