Fluid Mechanics

  • What is fluid mechanics?
  • Why study fluid mechanics? A case study: wind energy power plant from NWTC. (links to the NWTC homepage with a resource database and information on wind turbine research)
  • How to study fluid mechanics?

Mass Conservation

Momentum Conservation


Energy Consevation

Interesting links


  • Flow visualization- An archive of pictures showing fluids in motions by various visualization techniques.
  • Golf ball aerodynamics- contains introductory explanations of how a golf ball's shape and spin affect its flight
  • How airplanes fly-This page provides a very comprehensive guide to the basics of flight.
  • How Jet Engines work-Rolls Royce pages provide a qualitative understanding of how jet engine work.


Fluid Mechanics, physical science dealing with the action of fluids at rest (fluid statics) or in motion (fluid dynamics), and their interaction with flow devices and applications in engineering.  The subject branches out into sub-disciplines such as: Aerodynamics (links to a digital textbook-originally written for first year graduate students, but also suitable for interested others) - deals with the motion of air and other gases, and their interactions with bodies in motion such as lift and drag;  Hydraulics - application of fluid mechanics to engineering devices involving liquids such as flow through pipes, weir and dam design;  Geophysical fluid dynamics- fluid phenomena associated with the dynamics of the atmosphere and the oceans such as hurricane and weather systems, Bio-fluid mechanics- fluid mechanics involved in biophysical processes such as blood flow in arteries, and many others.


Wind Energy Power Plant: A Case Study

NWTC: National Wind Technology Center - the NWTC's site tour page offers information on the various testing facilities available

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The electricity generated by wind turbines is used for many applications, from large, utility-scale power plants, to small, single turbines for home or village use. Wind energy's popularity is growing because of its many benefits: wind energy generates pollution-free electricity; the fuel source, wind, blows steadily in many areas; wind energy costs compete with conventional fossil-fueled power plants in some areas; and costs continue to drop as technology improves.

Many Fluid Mechanics issues involved in the design of optimal wind turbines, including, but not limited to: aerodynamics, unsteady aerodynamics, wind characteristics(These NWTC pages describe several of the ongoing research projects conducted at the NWTC.)


Study Plan for fluid mechanics

(1) Fluid properties: density, pressure, viscosity, temperature, surface tension, etc.

(2) Fluid static: static pressure distribution, Archimeded's principle and buoyancy, forces on submerged objects.

(3) Governing equations: mass, momentum and energy conservation equations.

(4) Applications: turbines, compressors, pumps, pipe flows, et.

(5) Internal and external flows.

(6) Laminar, transitional and turbulent flows.

(7) Similitude and dimensional analysis.