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Fluid mech. and heat transfer prereq.

  1. Mar 10, 2013 #1
    There is a course at my school called nuclear power engineering. It's an optional course, but it sounds important for a nuc engineer. The course has two prerequisite courses: fluid mech, and heat transfer which i can take as electives. The thing is that I didn't take statics or dynamics (not required or even recommended), and i can't fit them into my schedule.
    My counselor told me that I can take fluid mech and heat transfer without statics and dynamics.
    Would it be a reasonable step to take fluid mech, and heat transfer without a solid knowledge in statics and dynamics? Are they heavily based on them, or could someone get away with only knowing the basics of mechanics?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2013 #2


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    Hm.... fluid mechanics IS "statics and dynamics", except that fluids (especially gases) throw a few curve balls compared with solids.

    So it depends very much on the level of the course and the level of your knowledge IMO.

    You should be OK for a first course in heat transfer - but a more advanced heat transfer course might require fluid mechanics as a prerequisite.
  4. Mar 10, 2013 #3


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    In the most basic sense, statics and dynamics are among the same family of science, namely mechanics. For most undergraduate courses, there won't be much overlap, however. Most first courses in fluid dynamics will use essentially no advanced topics from those other two subjects. The more important bit of overlap will most likely just be understanding how to sum forces.
  5. Mar 22, 2013 #4
    Fluid dynamics comes into play in heat transfer when you deal with convection (or convective heat transfer). So, I'd take fluid dynamics first, especially if they cover concepts dealing with momentum/heat transfer analogies in the heat transfer course.

    Conduction and radiation (in heat transfer) only require a working understanding of algebra and calculus for the basic problems. More advanced problems will require a working knowledge of multivariable calculus.

    The most difficult problems I solved in fluid dynamics required a BASIC understanding of multivariable calculus, and that was all.

    Typically, statics and dynamics (courses) don't have anything to do with either, as typically those courses deal with simple systems, like what you're used to dealing with in physics (pulleys, rotating systems, friction, force balances, etc.) Don't worry about taking them if you're comfortable with the math I mentioned above.
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