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Cours scientifiques - MEC_3S006_EP : Fluid Mechanics

Domaine > Physique, Mécanique.


Prerequisite: PHY101, PHY102, PHY105
Recommended previous course: PHY201, PHY206

The motion of fluids plays a critical role
in many phenomena or processes that are
the center of our daily life or engineering
systems, ranging from the flight and/or
propulsion of aircrafts and vessels, the
generation of electricity from wind-turbines,
the flow of blood in our arteries,
the atmospheric and ocean circulations
guiding our climate or microscopic flows
in lab-on-a-chip systems. This course will
provide the students the fundamental
tools to model, understand and analyze
the motion of such fluid flows in three
dimensions, and evaluate the resulting
forces on the bounding surfaces.
The material covered in this course will
build upon several courses of the program
including Mechanics and Heat (PHY101),
Mathematical Methods for Physicists I
and II (PHY102 and PHY105), Classical
Mechanics (PHY201) and Waves and
Heat Transfer in Geophysics (PHY206).

The following subjects are expected to be
❯ Eulerian description of motion of 3D
❯ Mass and momentum conservation
❯ Hydrostatic pressure
❯ Viscosity and viscous stresses
❯ Motion of a Newtonian fluid: Navier-
Stokes equations
❯ Non-dimensional analysis and scalings
❯ Parallel and weakly-non parallel flows
❯ Inviscid flows and potential flow theory
❯ Vorticity
❯ Introduction to boundary layers.


Objectifs pédagogiques

The objective of the class is to present the fundamental concepts and methods underlying the study of fluid flows in their whole diversity. It is designed both for students who might later on specialise in an a mechanics curriculum, but also students who will specialise in other fields and want to get an introduction and first intuition on the motion of fluids and how to model it. 

Format des notes

Numérique sur 20

Littérale/grade américain

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Programmes d'échange internationaux

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Bachelor of Science de l'Ecole polytechnique

Vos modalités d'acquisition :

Plenary lectures, problem sessions


Course Evaluation

The course grade is based on continuous evaluation (55%) and a written Final Exam (45%).
The final exam is 2-hour long and includes both direct questions on the class content and solving of fluid mechanics problems.
The following material is allowed: class-issued documents (lectures notes, TDs texts and solutions, slides) and personal notes directly related to these documents.
All other documents are prohibited. The use of any connected device is strictly forbidden.


Le rattrapage est autorisé (Note de rattrapage conservée écrêtée à une note seuil de 11)
    L'UE est acquise si Note finale >= 9
    • Crédits ECTS acquis : 4 ECTS

    La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

    Mots clés

    Fluid Mechanics, inertia, viscosity, motion

    Méthodes pédagogiques

    Lectures, problem sessions
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