Fluid dynamics, or fluid mechanics, is the study of the macroscopic physical behavior of fluids (liquids and gases). A subdivision of fluid dynamics is acoustics.
The solution of a fluid dynamic problem typically involves calculating various properties of the fluid, such as velocity, pressure, density, and temperature, as functions of space and time.
Fluid Dynamics at Rensselaer
Rensselaer researchers use methods of applied mathematics to study how fluids behave under a wide spectrum of conditions.
The physical problems usually lead to partial differential equations, which may be linear or nonlinear.
Fluid dynamics are also studied in the Computer Science Department, the Biomedical Engineering Department, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Mechanics, as well as the Scientific Computation Research Center and Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Current projects in the mathematical sciences department deal with:
- Fluid mechanics in engineering systems.
- Flow and stability of two-phase mixtures.
- Transition from laminar to turbulent flow in boundary layers.
- Fluid mechanical models of atmospheric events.
- Theory of flow in a gas centrifuge.
- Evolution of non-Newtonian (for example, polymer) fluid flow.