timeline of fluid mechanics

Fluid mechanics is the study of the behavior and dynamics of fluids, both at rest and in motion. In addition to liquids and metal liquids, fluid mechanics is also applied to gases (air flow in aerodynamics) and other fluids and fluid-like substances such as plasmas and plastics. Fluid mechanics can also be used in an abstract form when something exhibits fluid-like characteristics such as traffic flow or the motion of stars in a galaxy.


The Turbulent History of Fluid Mechanics
– [sjsu.edu]

It all started with Archimedes, way back in BC,
Who was faced with an interesting problem, you see…
The king came to me, and this story he told:
I am not sure if my crown is pure gold.
You are a wise man, or so it is said,
Tell me: is it real, or is it just lead?
I paced and I thought, and I scratched my head,
But the answer eluded me, to my dread.
I sat in my bath, and pondered and tried,
And then…”Eureka! Eureka! I found it!” I cried.
As I sat in my tub and the water was splashing,
I knew suddenly that a force had been acting.
On me in the tub, it’s proportional, see,
To the water that was where now there is me.
Of course, Archimedes caused quite a sensation
But not because of his great revelation;
As he was running through the streets of Syracuse
He didn’t notice he was wearing only his shoes.

-0250 – buoyancy, aka Archimedes principle – Archimedes
1452 – Da Vinci
1564 – Galileo
1608 – Torricelli
1663 – equilibrium of liquids – Pascal
1687 – friction and viscosity of liquids in “Principia” – Newton
1695 – Pitot
1707 – Euler
1736 – Lagrange
1738 – “Hydrodynamica” – Bernoulli
1743 – fluid dynamics – d’Alembert
1746 – Venturi
1749 – Laplace
1789 – Cauchy
1822 – motion of fluid substances – Navier-Stokes
1838 – Mach
1834 – soliton (Russell)
1904 – boundary layer theory – Prandtl

Tackling Turbulence with Supercomputers – [ucla.edu]

We all pass through life surrounded–and even sustained–by the flow of fluids. Blood moves through the vessels in our bodies, and air (a fluid, properly speaking) flows into our lungs. Our vehicles move through our planet’s blanket of air or across its lakes and seas, powered by still other fluids, such as fuel and oxidizer, that mix in the combustion chambers of engines. Indeed, many of the environmental or energy-related issues we face today cannot possibly be confronted without detailed knowledge of the mechanics of fluids.

Practically all the fluid flows that interest scientists and engineers are turbulent ones; turbulence is the rule, not the exception, in fluid dynamics. A solid grasp of turbulence, for example, can allow engineers to reduce the aerodynamic drag on an automobile or a commercial airliner, increase the maneuverability of a jet fighter or improve the fuel efficiency of an engine. An understanding of turbulence is also necessary to comprehend the flow of blood in the heart, especially in the left ventricle, where the movement is particularly swift.

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