Faculty of Science

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Mathematical Sciences


Dr Anja Slim and Professor Phil Hall



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


The continuum hypothesis; notion of a fluid particle; pathlines and streamlines. Eulerian and Lagrangian frameworks; the material derivative. Conservation of mass; incompressibility; streamfunctions. Forces acting on a fluid; the stress tensor; conservation of momentum; the constitutive relation; the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations. Boundary conditions. Exact solutions of Navier-Stokes equations. Non-dimensionalization and dimensional analysis; Reynolds number. Low Reynolds number flows. Vorticity; circulation; Helmholtz' vorticity equation; properties of vorticity; Kelvin's circulation theorem. Lubrication theory. Inviscid flows; potential flows. Boundary layer equations and flows.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain the scope of fluid dynamics in the physical sciences;
  2. Understand the mathematical description of fluid motion;
  3. Summarise the derivation of the equations of incompressible fluid motion;
  4. Understand and apply the process of scaling to simplify the governing equations for viscous and inertia dominated flows;
  5. Understand and apply the process of scaling to lubrication and boundary layer flows;
  6. Solve the governing and reduced equations in simple situations and understand the physical implications of the solutions and their limitations.


Examination (3 hours): 60%
Assignments and tutorial work: 22.5%
Tests: 17.5%

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour support class per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study