See Article History Fluid mechanics, science concerned with the response of fluids to forces exerted upon them. It is a branch of classical physics with applications of great importance in hydraulic and aeronautical engineeringchemical engineeringmeteorologyand zoology. The most familiar fluid is of course waterand an encyclopaedia of the 19th century probably would have dealt with the subject under the separate headings of hydrostatics, the science of water at rest, and hydrodynamics, the science of water in motion.
Occasionally, body forcessuch as the gravitational force or Lorentz force are added to the equations. Solutions of the Navier—Stokes equations for a given physical problem must be sought with the help of calculus. In practical terms only the simplest cases can be solved exactly in this way.
These cases generally involve non-turbulent, steady flow in which the Reynolds number is small. For more complex cases, especially those involving turbulencesuch as global weather systems, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics and many more, solutions of the Navier—Stokes equations can currently only be found with the help of computers.
This branch of science is called computational fluid dynamics. In practice, an inviscid flow is an idealizationone that facilitates mathematical treatment. In fact, purely inviscid flows are only known Fluid mechanic lab be realized in the case of superfluidity.
Otherwise, fluids are generally viscous, a property that is often most important within a boundary layer near a solid surface,  where the flow must match onto the no-slip condition at the solid. In some cases, the mathematics of a fluid mechanical system can be treated by assuming that the fluid outside of boundary layers is inviscid, and then matching its solution onto that for a thin laminar boundary layer.
For fluid flow over a porous boundary, the fluid velocity can be discontinuous between the free fluid and the fluid in the porous media this is related to the Beavers and Joseph condition. Further, it is useful at low subsonic speeds to assume that a gas is incompressible —that is, the density of the gas does not change even though the speed and static pressure change.
Newtonian versus non-Newtonian fluids[ edit ] A Newtonian fluid named after Isaac Newton is defined to be a fluid whose shear stress is linearly proportional to the velocity gradient in the direction perpendicular to the plane of shear.
This definition means regardless of the forces acting on a fluid, it continues to flow.
For example, water is a Newtonian fluid, because it continues to display fluid properties no matter how much it is stirred or mixed.
A slightly less rigorous definition is that the drag of a small object being moved slowly through the fluid is proportional to the force applied to the object. Important fluids, like water as well as most gases, behave—to good approximation—as a Newtonian fluid under normal conditions on Earth.
This will gradually fill up over time—this behaviour is seen in materials such as pudding, oobleckor sand although sand isn't strictly a fluid.
Alternatively, stirring a non-Newtonian fluid can cause the viscosity to decrease, so the fluid appears "thinner" this is seen in non-drip paints. There are many types of non-Newtonian fluids, as they are defined to be something that fails to obey a particular property—for example, most fluids with long molecular chains can react in a non-Newtonian manner.
Newtonian fluid The constant of proportionality between the viscous stress tensor and the velocity gradient is known as the viscosity.The Fluid Mechanics Laboratory has 4 wind tunnels. Our largest wind tunnel has a 2 x 3 square meter test section with a km/h max speed.
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