Fluid Mechanics

5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1FA253

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Physics A1N, Technology A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 18 March 2010
Responsible department
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

120 credits with Mathematical Methods of Physics, Computing Science II or the equivalent.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the student shall be able to:

  • define and describe the potential and vortex flows of ideal and viscous fluids
  • describe the fluid flow around symmetric bodies and determine the drag and lift forces arising due to this flow
  • describe the transition from laminar flow to turbulent flow and calculate the characteristics of the boundary layer both for laminar and turbulent flows around a solid body
  • apply dimensional analysis for a qualitative description of fluid flows
  • describe the main features of wave phenomena in various fluids and determine the properties of surface gravity waves
  • define and calculate the stability of fluid flows


Basic concepts and laws of fluid mechanics. Integral- and differential forms of the basic equations of fluid mechanics. Compressibility. Helmholtz and Kelvins theorems. Potential flow. Complex flow potential. Flow around cylinders and spheres. Two-dimensional wing theory. Viscous flow. Boundary layers. Dimensional analysis and comparison with experimental data. Typical Reynolds numbers for laminar and turbulent flow. Elements of the theory of turbulence. Non-linear phenomena. Surface and internal waves in fluids. Stability of fluid flows. Overview of methods to measure flow. Use of numerical software within fluid mechanics. Computer assignments. Guest lecture.


Lectures, lessons and computer assignments.


Written examination at the end of the course (4 credits). Passed laboratory course is also required (1 credit).