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Fluid Mechanics

Unit code: MATH20502
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Semester 2
Offered by School of Mathematics
Available as a free choice unit?: N




The primary aim of this course unit is to provide students with a first introduction to continuum mechanics in general and theoretical fluid mechanics in particular. The material provides the student with an essential background to many third and fourth level courses on physical applied mathematics.

Fluid mechanics is concerned with understanding, and hence predicting, the properties (pressure, density, velocity etc.) of liquids and gases under external forces. This subject provides one of the major modern areas for the successful practical application of mathematics. Water, blood, air are all examples of fluids; of the many diverse fields where an understanding of the motion of fluids is important, one can mention oceanography and meteorology (in particular the dynamics of ocean circulation and weather forecasting), biological fluid dynamics (for example, blood flows through arteries), and aerodynamics.

The main physical focus at the end of the course is to calculate the forces on a body moving in a fluid e.g. aeroplane wing; the same study also relates to the behaviour of balls in football, cricket and golf, and of boomerangs and frisbees.


Learning outcomes

The ideas in this lecture course will be useful in third-level and fourth-level courses involving Fluid Mechanics and Elasticity.


Assessment methods

  • Other - 20%
  • Written exam - 80%

Assessment Further Information

  • Coursework; Weighting within unit 20%
  • 2 hours end of semester examination; Weighting within unit 80%

Feedback methods

Feedback tutorials will provide an opportunity for students' work to be discussed and provide feedback on their understanding.  Coursework or in-class tests (where applicable) also provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback.  Students can also get feedback on their understanding directly from the lecturer, for example during the lecturer's office hour.

Study hours

  • Lectures - 22 hours
  • Tutorials - 11 hours
  • Independent study hours - 67 hours

Teaching staff

Mike Simon - Unit coordinator

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