MAS320 Fluid Mechanics I

Semester 2, 2017/18 10 Credits
Lecturer: Dr Eun-jin Kim Reading List
Aims Outcomes Teaching Methods Assessment

The way in which fluids move is of immense practical importance; the most obvious examples of this are air and water, but there are many others such as lubricants in engines. Moreover, the scientific principles and mathematical techniques needed to explain fluid motion are of intrinsic interest. This half-module builds on Level 2 work (MAS280 Vectors and Fluid Mechanics; MAS222 Methods for Differential Equations). The first step is to derive the equation (Navier-Stokes equations) governing the motions of most common fluids. These serve as a basis for the remainder of MAS320.

Prerequisites: MAS222 (Differential Equations); MAS280 (Mechanics and Fluids)

The following modules have this module as a prerequisite:

MAS411Topics in Advanced Fluid Mechanics

Outline syllabus

  • Basic concepts of fluid mechanics
  • Rate of strain tensor: Derivation and interpretation. Constitutive equation.
  • Exact solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations: Simple shear flow. Poiseuille flow. Steady flow under gravity down an inclined plane. Flow with circular streamlines. Infinite plate impulsively started into motion.
  • Vector and tensor identities: manipulation of Navier-Stokes equations. Stress tensor and stress vector.
  • Flow past a sphere: Derivation of Stokes drag on a sphere for small Reynolds number.
  • Vorticity: Reynolds number. Vorticity equation. Role of irrotational flow. Burgers vortex. Vortex lines. Lagrange's theorem.
  • Boundary layers: Flow past a flat plate. Skin friction drag. Displacement thickness. Momentum thickness.


  • To broaden the students' knowledge of Fluid Mechanics.
  • To introduce students to the mathematical and physical concepts used in the area of Fluid Dynamics.

Learning outcomes

    Teaching methods

    Lectures, problem solving

    20 lectures, no tutorials


    One formal 2 hour written examination.

    Reading list

    Type Author(s) Title Library Blackwells Amazon
    B Acheson Elementary Fluid Dynamics 532.5 (A) Blackwells Amazon
    B Landau and Lifshitz Fluid Mechanics 530.1 (L) Blackwells Amazon
    B Paterson A First Course in Fluid Dynamics 532.51 (P) Blackwells Amazon

    (A = essential, B = recommended, C = background.)

    Most books on reading lists should also be available from the Blackwells shop at Jessop West.