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Unit information: Advanced Fluid Dynamics in 2021/22

Unit name Advanced Fluid Dynamics
Unit code MATHM0600
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Eggers
Open unit status Not open

MATH10012 ODEs, Curves and Dynamics, MATH20015 Multivariable Calculus and Complex Functions and MATH20402 Applied Partial Differential Equations 2



School/department School of Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

Unit Aims

Understanding the principles governing fluid flow and the mathematical models used to investigate them.

Unit Description

The behaviour of ordinary fluids like oil, water, or air can be understood on the basis of a single equation, due to Navier and Stokes. The description of fluid motion thus amounts to finding solutions to the Navier-Stokes equation, a mathematical problem of almost infinite variability and often staggering complexity. (A look at a weather map should convince you of that.) Solutions to physically relevant problems generally involve some approximation, motivated by physical insight, and based on the identification of the key parameters that determine the solution.

Close to an equilibrium state, the problem can be solved by linearising the equation around it. Far away from such a state flows are often characterised by widely differing length scales. This seemingly complex structure can be used to one's advantage by investigating the solution under a change of scales.

Unavoidably, fluid mechanics has broken up into a great number of subfields. However, this course will try to give a more unified view by emphasizing mathematical structures that reappear in different guises in almost all those sub-specialities.

Relation to Other Units

This unit is a continuation of the Level 3 Fluid Dynamics unit and an investigation of more advanced topics. This unit is self-contained and it is not necessary to have previously attended Fluid Dynamics. However familiarity with the key themes and ideas of Fluid Dynamics would be advantageous.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Learning Objectives

After taking this unit, students should:

  • know the basic equations and the underlying concepts
  • realise the importance of the Reynolds number and other non-dimensional parameters
  • know how to set up the appropriate mathematical equations for a given flow problem
  • appreciate the general concepts of stability and scaling

Transferable Skills

Ability to transfer physical questions into well-defined mathematical problems. Understanding the critical parameters of a problem and developing intuition for the behaviour of a system as a function of these parameters.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • synchronous online and, if subsequently possible, face-to-face lectures
  • asynchronous online materials, including narrated presentations and worked examples
  • guided asynchronous independent activities such as problem sheets and/or other exercises
  • synchronous weekly group problem/example classes, workshops and/or tutorials
  • synchronous weekly group tutorials
  • synchronous weekly office hours

Assessment Information

100% Timed, open-book examination

Raw scores on the examinations will be determined according to the marking scheme written on the examination paper. The marking scheme, indicating the maximum score per question, is a guide to the relative weighting of the questions. Raw scores are moderated as described in the Undergraduate Handbook.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MATHM0600).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.