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Tom June 8, 2004 08:23

greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
Hi, everyone:

Could you let me know who are the greatest people in fluid mechanics in 20th century?

1. GI Taylor 2. Prandtl 3. T von Karman 4. ????

Can you list a few? Thanks. Tom

Another Tom June 8, 2004 09:29

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
How about, off the top of my head,

Sir James Lighthill, Sidney Goldstein, Keith Stewartson, Horace Lamb.

You could also add Stokes, Lord Rayleigh and Lord Kelvin if you count people who died in the 20th century.

Praveen June 8, 2004 10:04

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
The Turbulent History of Fluid Mechanics


Naomi Tsafnat

May 17, 1999.

It all started with Archimedes, way back in BC,

Who was faced with an interesting problem, you see…

The king came to me, and this story he told:

I am not sure if my crown is pure gold.

You are a wise man, or so it is said,

Tell me: is it real, or is it just lead?

I paced and I thought, and I scratched my head,

But the answer eluded me, to my dread.

I sat in my bath, and pondered and tried,

And then…"Eureka! Eureka! I found it!" I cried.

As I sat in my tub and the water was splashing,

I knew suddenly that a force had been acting.

On me in the tub, it's proportional, see,

To the water that was where now there is me.

Of course, Archimedes caused quite a sensation

But not because of his great revelation;

As he was running through the streets of Syracuse

He didn't notice he was wearing only his shoes.

The great Leonardo – oh what a fellow…

No, not diCaprio, DaVinci I tell you!

He did more than just paint the lovely Mona,

He also studied fluid transport phenomena.

Then came Pascal, who clarified with agility,

Basic concepts of pressure transmissibility.

Everyone knows how a barometer looks,

But he figured out just how it works.

How can we talk about great scientists,

Without mentioning one of the best:

Sir Isaac Newton, the genius of mathematics,

Also contributed to fluid mechanics.

One thing he found, and it's easy as pie,

Is that shear stress, ô, equals µ dv/dy.

His other work, though, was not as successful;

His studies on drag were not all that useful.

He thought he knew how fast sound is sent,

But he was way off, by about twenty percent.

And then there was Pitot, with his wonderful tubes,

Which measure how fast an airplane moves.

Poiseuille, d'Alembert, Lagrange and Venturi –

Through his throats – fluid pass in a hurry.

Here is another hero of fluid mechanics,

In fact, he invented the word "hydrodynamics".

It would take a book to tell you about him fully,

But here is the short tale of Daniel Bernoulli:

Everyone thinks is just one Bernoulli…

It is not so! There are many of us, truly.

My family is big, many scientists in this house,

With father Johan, nephew Jacob and brother Nicolaus.

But the famous principle is mine, you know,

It tells of the relationship of fluid flow,

To pressure, velocity, and density too.

I also invented the manometer – out of the blue!

Yes, Bernoulli did much for fluids, you bet!

He even proposed the use of a jet.

There were others too, all wonderful folks,

Like Lagrange, Laplace, Navier and Stokes.

Here is another well-known name,

A mathematician and scientist of great fame:

He is Leonard Euler, I'm sure you all know,

His equations are basis for inviscid flow.

He did more than introduce the symbols đ, I, e,

He also derived the equation of continuity.

And with much thought and keen derivation,

He published the famous momentum equation.

Those wonderful equations and diagrams you see?

They are all thanks to Moody, Weisbach and Darcy.

Then there was Mach, and the road that he paves,

After studying the shocking field of shock waves.

Rayleigh studied wave motion, and jet instability,

How bubbles collapse, and dynamic similarity.

He was also the first to correctly explain.

Why the sky is blue – except when it rains.

Osborne Reynolds, whose number we know,

Found out all about turbulent flow.

He also examined with much persistence,

Cavitation, viscous flow, and pipe resistance.

In the discovery of the boundary layer

Prandtl was the major player.

It's no wonder that all the scientists say,

He's the father of Modern Fluid Mechanics, hooray!

It is because of Prandtl that today we all can

Describe the lift and drag of wings of finite span.

If it weren't for him, then the brothers Wright

Would probably never have taken flight.

And so we come to the end of this story,

But it's not the end of the tales of glory!

The list goes on, and it will grow too

Maybe the next pioneer will be you?


287-212 B.C.

Sextus Julius Frontinus

40-103 B.C.

Leonardo daVinci


Galileo Galilei


Evangelista Torricelli


Edme Mariotte


Blaise Pascal


Sir Isaac Newton


Henri de Pitot


Daniel Bernoulli


Leonard Euler


Jean de Rond d'Alembert


Antoine Chezy


Jean Charles Borda


Joseph-Louis Lagrange


Giovanni Battista Venturi


Pierre-Simon Laplace


Claude Louis Marie Navier


Augustin Louis de Cauchy


Gotthilf H. Ludwig Hagen


Jean Louis Poiseuille


Henri Philibert Darcy


Julius Weisbach


William Froude


Robert Manning


George Gabriel Stokes


Ernst Mach


Osborne Reynolds


Lord Rayleigh [John William Strutt]


Vincez Strouhal


Edgar Buckingham


Moritz Weber


Ludwig Prandtl


Lewis Ferry Moody


Theodor von Karman


Paul Richard Heinrich Blasius


Leo June 8, 2004 10:28

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?

ZZ June 8, 2004 10:46

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
And what about great scientists in CFD? Patankar and Spalding I know.

Jim_Park June 8, 2004 13:03

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
As a teacher, Asher Shapiro at MIT.

In CFD, Francis Harlow (he predated Patankar et al).

noName June 8, 2004 15:27

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?

chinthakindi June 9, 2004 07:30

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
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Lionel Larcheveque June 9, 2004 14:40

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
Dealing with turbulence (among other subjects): A. N. Kolmogorov and G. K. Batchelor

Mordorgie i Grodrom June 9, 2004 19:45

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
In a previous thread I got the impression that Joe Dimaggio was one of the greatest guys.

Turbulent June 10, 2004 03:53

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
PG Drazin.


Turbulent June 10, 2004 03:55

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?

PG Drazin

Respected names in hydrodynamic stability.

Tom June 10, 2004 06:07

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?
If you are going to list Philip (Drazin) then you need to also include Reid, Howard and Miles (and Longuet-Higgins come to think of it) as well as Lin.

There is also, talking of nonlinear stability theory, the seminal work of Stuart, DiPrima, Davey, Watson and Benney. Although apart from DiPrima and Drazin (and probably Lin?) these people are all still alive.

Chandrasekhar's contribution's to fluid mechanics is pretty minimal and does not rank those listed above.

barbaro June 10, 2004 08:17

Re: greatest scientist in Fluid mechanics ?

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