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iquids, gases, and plasmas) and the forces on them. Fluid mechanics has a wide r

ange of applications, including for mechanical engineering, civil engineering, c

hemical engineering, geophysics, astrophysics, and biology. Fluid mechanics can

be divided into fluid statics, the study of fluids at rest; and fluid dynamics,

the study of the effect of forces on fluid motion. It is a branch of continuum m

echanics, 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 rathe

r than from microscopic. Fluid mechanics, especially fluid dynamics, is an activ

e field of research with many problems that are partly or wholly unsolved. Fluid

mechanics can be mathematically complex, and can best be solved by numerical me

thods, typically using computers. A modern discipline, called computational flui

d dynamics (CFD), is devoted to this approach to solving fluid mechanics problem

s. Particle image velocimetry, an experimental method for visualizing and analyz

ing fluid flow, also takes advantage of the highly visual nature of fluid flow.

Contents [hide]

1 Brief history

2 Main branches

2.1 Fluid statics

2.2 Fluid dynamics

3 Relationship to continuum mechanics

4 Assumptions

5 Navier Stokes equations

6 Inviscid and Viscous Fluids

7 Newtonian versus non-Newtonian fluids

7.1 Equations for a Newtonian fluid

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

11 Further reading

12 External links

Brief history[edit]

Main article: History of fluid mechanics

The study of fluid mechanics goes back at least to the days of ancient Greece, w

hen 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 mechani

cs. Rapid advancement in fluid mechanics began with Leonardo da Vinci (observati

ons and experiments), Evangelista Torricelli (invented the barometer), Isaac New

ton (investigated viscosity) and Blaise Pascal (researched hydrostatics, formula

ted Pascal's law), and was continued by Daniel Bernoulli with the introduction o

f mathematical fluid dynamics in Hydrodynamica (1738).

Inviscid flow was further analyzed by various mathematicians (Leonhard Euler, Je

an le Rond d'Alembert, Joseph Louis Lagrange, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Simon Denis P

oisson) and viscous flow was explored by a multitude of engineers including Jean

Lonard Marie Poiseuille and Gotthilf Hagen. Further mathematical justification w

as provided by Claude-Louis Navier and George Gabriel Stokes in the Navier Stokes

equations, and boundary layers were investigated (Ludwig Prandtl, Theodore von Kr

mn), while various scientists such as Osborne Reynolds, Andrey Kolmogorov, and Ge

offrey Ingram Taylor advanced the understanding of fluid viscosity and turbulenc

e.

Main branches[edit]

Fluid statics[edit]

Main article: Fluid statics

Fluid statics or hydrostatics is the branch of fluid mechanics that studies flui

ds at rest. It embraces the study of the conditions under which fluids are at re

st in stable equilibrium; and is contrasted with fluid dynamics, the study of fl

uids in motion. Hydrostatics offers physical explanations for many phenomena of

everyday life, such as why atmospheric pressure changes with altitude, why wood

and oil float on water, and why the surface of water is always flat and horizont

al whatever the shape of its container. Hydrostatics is fundamental to hydraulic

s, the engineering of equipment for storing, transporting and using fluids. It i

s also relevant to some aspect of geophysics and astrophysics (for example, in u

nderstanding plate tectonics and anomalies in the Earth's gravitational field),

to meteorology, to medicine (in the context of blood pressure), and many other f

ields.

Fluid dynamics[edit]

Main article: Fluid dynamics

Fluid dynamics is a subdiscipline of fluid mechanics that deals with fluid flow th

e science of liquids and gases in motion. Fluid dynamics offers a systematic str

ucture which underlies these practical disciplines that embraces empirical and semi-

empirical laws derived from flow measurement and used to solve practical problem

s. The solution to a fluid dynamics problem typically involves calculating vario

us properties of the fluid, such as velocity, pressure, density, and temperature

, as functions of space and time. It has several subdisciplines itself, includin

g aerodynamics (the study of air and other gases in motion) and hydrodynamics (t

he study of liquids in motion). Fluid dynamics has a wide range of applications,

including calculating forces and moments on aircraft, determining the mass flow

rate of petroleum through pipelines, predicting evolving weather patterns, unde

rstanding nebulae in interstellar space and modeling explosions. Some fluid-dyna

mical principles are used in traffic engineering and crowd dynamics.

Relationship to continuum mechanics[edit]

Fluid mechanics is a subdiscipline of continuum mechanics, as illustrated in the

following table.

Continuum mechanics

The study of the physics of continuous materials Solid mechanics

The study of the physics of continuous materials with a defined rest shape.

Elasticity

Describes materials that return to their rest shape after applied stresses are r

emoved.

Plasticity

Describes materials that permanently deform after a sufficient applied stress.

Rheology

The study of materials with both solid and fluid characteristics.

Fluid mechanics

The study of the physics of continuous materials which deform when subjected to

a force. Non-Newtonian fluids do not undergo strain rates proportional to

the applied shear stress.

Newtonian fluids undergo strain rates proportional to the applied shear stress.

In a mechanical view, a fluid is a substance that does not support shear stress;

that is why a fluid at rest has the shape of its containing vessel. A fluid at

rest has no shear stress.

Assumptions[edit]

Balance for some integrated fluid quantity in a control volume enclosed by a con

trol surface.

The assumptions inherent to a fluid mechanical treatment of a physical system ca

n be expressed in terms of mathematical equations. Fundamentally, every fluid me

chanical system is assumed to obey:

Conservation of mass

Conservation of energy

Conservation of momentum

The continuum assumption

For example, the assumption that mass is conserved means that for any fixed cont

rol volume (for example, a spherical volume) enclosed by a control surface the r

ate of change of the mass contained in that volume is equal to the rate at which

mass is passing through the surface from outside to inside, minus the rate at w

hich mass is passing from inside to outside. This can be expressed as an equatio

n in integral form over the control volume.[1]

The continuum assumption is an idealization of continuum mechanics under which f

luids can be treated as continuous, even though, on a microscopic scale, they ar

e composed of molecules. Under the continuum assumption, macroscopic (observed/m

easurable) properties such as density, pressure, temperature, and bulk velocity

are taken to be well-defined at "infinitesimal" volume elements -- small in comp

arison to the characteristic length scale of the system, but large in comparison

to molecular length scale. Fluid properties can vary continuously from one volu

me element to another and are average values of the molecular properties. The co

ntinuum hypothesis can lead to inaccurate results in applications like supersoni

c speed flows, or molecular flows on nano scale. Those problems for which the co

ntinuum hypothesis fails, can be solved using statistical mechanics. To determin

e whether or not the continuum hypothesis applies, the Knudsen number, defined a

s the ratio of the molecular mean free path to the characteristic length scale,

is evaluated. Problems with Knudsen numbers below 0.1 can be evaluated using the

continuum hypothesis, but molecular approach (statistical mechanics) can be app

lied for all ranges of Knudsen numbers.

Navier Stokes equations[edit]

Main article: Navier Stokes equations

The Navier Stokes equations (named after Claude-Louis Navier and George Gabriel St

okes) are differential equations that describe the force balance at a given poin

t within a fluid. For an incompressible fluid with vector velocity field {\displ

aystyle \mathbf {u} } \mathbf {u} , the Navier Stokes equations are

{\displaystyle {\frac {\partial \mathbf {u} }{\partial t}}+(\mathbf {u} \cdot \n

abla )\mathbf {u} =-{\frac {1}{\rho }}\nabla P+\nu \nabla ^{2}\mathbf {u} } {\di

splaystyle {\frac {\partial \mathbf {u} }{\partial t}}+(\mathbf {u} \cdot \nabla

)\mathbf {u} =-{\frac {1}{\rho }}\nabla P+\nu \nabla ^{2}\mathbf {u} }.

Analogous to Newton's equations of motion, the Navier Stokes equations describe ch

anges in momentum (force) in response to pressure {\displaystyle P} P and viscos

ity, parameterized, here, by the kinematic viscosity {\displaystyle \nu } \nu .

Occasionally, body forces, such as the gravitational force or Lorentz force are

added to the equations. Solutions of the Navier Stokes equations for a given physi

cal problem must be sought with the help of calculus. In practical terms only th

e simplest case can be solved exactly in this way. These cases generally involve

non-turbulent, steady flow in which the Reynolds number is small. For more comp

lex cases, especially those involving turbulence, such as global weather systems

, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics and many more, solutions of the Navier Stokes equati

ons can currently only be found with the help of computers. This branch of scien

ce is called computational fluid dynamics.

Inviscid and Viscous Fluids[edit]

An inviscid fluid has no viscosity, {\displaystyle \nu =0} {\displaystyle \nu =0

}. In practice, an inviscid flow is an idealization, one that facilitates mathem

atical treatment. In fact, purely inviscid flows are only known to be realized i

n the case of superfluidity. Otherwise, fluids are generally viscous, a property

that is often most important within a boundary layer near a solid surface,[2] w

here the flow must match onto the no-slip condition at the solid. In some cases,

the mathematics of a fluid mechanical system can be treated by assuming that th

e fluid outside of boundary layers is inviscid, and then matching its solution o

nto that for a thin laminar boundary layer.

For fluid flow over a porous boundary, the fluid velocity can be discontinuous b

etween the free fluid and the fluid in the porous media (this is related to the

Beavers and Joseph condition). Further, it is useful at low subsonic speeds to a

ssume that a gas is incompressible that is, the density of the gas does not chan

ge even though the speed and static pressure change.

Newtonian versus non-Newtonian fluids[edit]

A Newtonian fluid (named after Isaac Newton) is defined to be a fluid whose shea

r stress is linearly proportional to the velocity gradient in the direction perp

endicular to the plane of shear. This definition means regardless of the forces

acting on a fluid, it continues to flow. For example, water is a Newtonian fluid

, because it continues to display fluid properties no matter how much it is stir

red or mixed. A slightly less rigorous definition is that the drag of a small ob

ject being moved slowly through the fluid is proportional to the force applied t

o the object. (Compare friction). Important fluids, like water as well as most g

ases, behave to good approximation as a Newtonian fluid under normal conditions

on Earth.[3]

By contrast, stirring a non-Newtonian fluid can leave a "hole" behind. This will

gradually fill up over time this behaviour is seen in materials such as pudding

, oobleck, or sand (although sand isn't strictly a fluid). Alternatively, stirri

ng a non-Newtonian fluid can cause the viscosity to decrease, so the fluid appea

rs "thinner" (this is seen in non-drip paints). There are many types of non-Newt

onian fluids, as they are defined to be something that fails to obey a particula

r property for example, most fluids with long molecular chains can react in a no

n-Newtonian manner.[3]

Equations for a Newtonian fluid[edit]

Main article: Newtonian fluid

The constant of proportionality between the viscous stress tensor and the veloci

ty gradient is known as the viscosity. A simple equation to describe incompressi

ble Newtonian fluid behaviour is

{\displaystyle \tau =-\mu {\frac {dv}{dy}}} \tau =-\mu {\frac {dv}{dy}}

where

{\displaystyle \tau } \tau is the shear stress exerted by the fluid ("drag")

{\displaystyle \mu } \mu is the fluid viscosity a constant of proportionality

{\displaystyle {\frac {dv}{dy}}} {\frac {dv}{dy}} is the velocity gradient perpe

ndicular to the direction of shear.

For a Newtonian fluid, the viscosity, by definition, depends only on temperature

and pressure, not on the forces acting upon it. If the fluid is incompressible

the equation governing the viscous stress (in Cartesian coordinates) is

{\displaystyle \tau _{ij}=\mu \left({\frac {\partial v_{i}}{\partial x_{j}}}+{\f

rac {\partial v_{j}}{\partial x_{i}}}\right)} \tau _{ij}=\mu \left({\frac {\part

ial v_{i}}{\partial x_{j}}}+{\frac {\partial v_{j}}{\partial x_{i}}}\right)

where

{\displaystyle \tau _{ij}} \tau _{ij} is the shear stress on the {\displaystyle

i^{th}} i^{th} face of a fluid element in the {\displaystyle j^{th}} j^{th} dire

ction

{\displaystyle v_{i}} v_{i} is the velocity in the {\displaystyle i^{th}} i^{th}

direction

{\displaystyle x_{j}} x_{j} is the {\displaystyle j^{th}} j^{th} direction coord

inate.

If the fluid is not incompressible the general form for the viscous stress in a

Newtonian fluid is

{\displaystyle \tau _{ij}=\mu \left({\frac {\partial v_{i}}{\partial x_{j}}}+{\f

rac {\partial v_{j}}{\partial x_{i}}}-{\frac {2}{3}}\delta _{ij}\nabla \cdot \ma

thbf {v} \right)+\kappa \delta _{ij}\nabla \cdot \mathbf {v} } \tau _{ij}=\mu \l

eft({\frac {\partial v_{i}}{\partial x_{j}}}+{\frac {\partial v_{j}}{\partial x_

{i}}}-{\frac {2}{3}}\delta _{ij}\nabla \cdot \mathbf {v} \right)+\kappa \delta _

{ij}\nabla \cdot \mathbf {v}

where {\displaystyle \kappa } \kappa is the second viscosity coefficient (or bu

lk viscosity). If a fluid does not obey this relation, it is termed a non-Newton

ian fluid, of which there are several types. Non-Newtonian fluids can be either

plastic, Bingham plastic, pseudoplastic, dilatant, thixotropic, rheopectic, visc

oelastic.

In some applications another rough broad division among fluids is made: ideal an

d non-ideal fluids. An Ideal fluid is non-viscous and offers no resistance whats

oever to a shearing force. An ideal fluid really does not exist, but in some cal

culations, the assumption is justifiable. One example of this is the flow far fr

om solid surfaces. In many cases the viscous effects are concentrated near the s

olid boundaries (such as in boundary layers) while in regions of the flow field

far away from the boundaries the viscous effects can be neglected and the fluid

there is treated as it were inviscid (ideal flow). When the viscosity is neglete

d, the term containing the viscous stress tensor {\displaystyle \mathbf {\tau }

} \mathbf {\tau } in the Navier Stokes equation vanishes. The equation reduced in

this form is called the Euler equation.

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