Introduction to Fluid Dynamics


AMS107/PHYS107/AMS217:  Introduction to Fluid Dynamics

 Instructor:  Prof. Nic Brummell, Applied Math and Statistics


This course focuses on the fundamentals of fluid dynamics as applied to astrophysical and geophysical systems. We will deal with: a kinematic understanding of fluid flows (how do we describe flows?, the continuum hypothesis, Eulerian and Lagrangian descriptions, etc); a dynamic understanding of fluid flows i.e. the various equation sets describing inviscid and viscous flow derived from conservation laws; dynamic similarity and scale analysis; inviscid potential flows; gravity waves; exact solutions of Navier-Stokes equations; boundary layer formulations; and a selection of more advanced topics such as numerical simulations, compressible flows and some introductory discussions of fluid instabilities, waves, chaos, nonlinear equilibration, and turbulence.

The course is aimed at providing the student with a basic understanding of fluid dynamics, both intuitively and from an applied mathematics point of view.

By the end of the course, you will know how to fly and how to throw a good curve ball in baseball!

The regular lecture material will be augmented with video presentations and experimental demonstrations.



Nat Sci Annex 101, Tues/Thurs, 2:00-3:45pm


Primary Required Text: 

Kundu & Cohen (= K), Fluid Mechanics (>3rd ed., Academic Press)


Extra video sessions and office hours: 

Wednesday at 5pm in BE358

The URL for the video if you are not coming to the session is here.

  • 01/16:  "Flow Visualization".  Direct link to YouTube is here
  • 01/22:  "Eulerian Lagrangian Descriptions".  No direct YouTube, only RealPlayer here.
  • 01/29:  "Pressure and fluid acceleration"
  • 02/13:  "Vorticity I and II"
  • 02/27: "Rotating flows" & "Secondary Flows"
  • 03/06: "Waves in Fluids" & "Stratified Flow"
  • 03/13: "Fundamentals of Boundary Layers" & "Low Reynolds Number Flow"



      • You can obtain the exam from me anytime from now on (email or in person)
      • Exam will be due in on Thurs 21st March by 10am at the latest (PDF email or delivery to my office)
      • Once you have obtained the exam, you can no longer ask me questions about the course, but up until then, you can ask as many as you want.  I will assume that you have good integrity and do not collaborate with someone else.

  • 03/25/2013:  GRADES ARE UP (eCommons and with the Registrar)!
    Final exam answers are on the Homework page, in case you want to see them

Instructors and Assistants