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8.1: Introduction

The integral analysis has a limited accuracy, which leads to a different approach of differential analysis. The differential analysis allows the flow field investigation in greater detail. In differential analysis, the emphasis is on infinitesimal scale and thus the analysis provides This analysis leads to partial differential equations which are referred to as the Navier–Stokes equations. These equations are named after Claude–Louis Navier–Marie and George Gabriel Stokes. Like many equations they were independently derived by several people. First these equations were derived by Claude–Louis–Marie Navier as it is known in 1827. As usual Simeon–Denis Poisson independently, as he done to many other equations or conditions, derived these equations in 1831 for the same arguments as Navier. The foundations for their arguments or motivations are based on a molecular view of how stresses are exerted between fluid layers. Barre de Saint Venant (1843) and George Gabriel Stokes (1845) derived these equation based on the relationship between stress and rate–of–strain (this approach is presented in this book). Navier–Stokes equations are non–linear and there are more than one possible solution in many cases (if not most cases) e.g. the solution is not unique. A discussion about the ``regular'' solution is present and a brief discussion about limitations when the solution is applicable. Later in the Chapters on Real Fluid and Turbulence, with a presentation of the ``non–regular'' solutions will be presented with the associated issues of stability. However even for the ``regular'' solution the mathematics is very complex. One of the approaches is to reduce the equations by eliminating the viscosity effects. The equations without the viscosity effects are referred to as the ideal flow equations (Euler Equations) which will be discussed in the next chapter. The concepts of the Add Mass and the Add Force, which are easier to discuss when the viscosity is ignored, and will be presented in the Ideal Flow chapter. It has to be pointed out that the Add Mass and Add Force appear regardless to the viscosity. Historically, complexity of the equations, on one hand, leads to approximations and consequently to the ideal flow approximation (equations) and on the other hand experimental solutions of Navier–Stokes equations. The connection between these two ideas or fields was done via introduction of the boundary layer theory by Prandtl which will be discussed as well. Even for simple situations, there are cases when complying with the boundary conditions leads to a discontinuity (shock or choked flow). These equations cannot satisfy the boundary conditions in other cases and in way the fluid pushes the boundary condition(s) further downstream (choked flow). These issues are discussed in Open Channel Flow and Compressible Flow chapters. Sometimes, the boundary conditions create instability which alters the boundary conditions itself which is known as Interfacial instability. The choked flow is associated with a single phase flow (even the double choked flow) while the Interfacial instability associated with the Multi–Phase flow. This phenomenon is presented in Multi–phase chapter and briefly discussed in this chapter.


  • Dr. Genick Bar-Meir. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or later or Potto license.