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Looking for Good Fluid Dynamics Book

  1. May 13, 2013 #1
    I know this question has been asked plenty of times, but nonetheless I wanted to get some recommendations that might better jive with my situation than other the other threads I've read about this topic.

    I'm a first year grad student in physics that hasn't had a course in fluid dynamics, but really enjoys that field (I've been to a couple conferences and done some research using a fluid system). I'm going to be starting a research project soon in fluids, and I want to read up on it so I'm a bit more knowledgeable about the context of my project.

    I'm looking for a book that is more physics-oriented than engineering-oriented. I've enjoyed books by Griffiths, Schroeder, and Strogatz. Standards like Landau, Goldstein/Poole/Safko, and Jackson have been okay but feel a little less pedagogical (almost more like an apprenticeship than a course). I'd like something that's relatively brief and broad, sort of an at an intermediate undergraduate level. I have a strong mathematical and physics foundation, but ultimately I am still looking for an introduction to the subject.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2013 #2


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    Since you are at a university I recommend you go to the library and browse to see if you find what you are looking for. I am not a fluids expert by any means (grad work was in plasma physics but only took one undergrad level fluids course), so hopefully others more knowledgeable jump in here. I enjoyed "physical fluid dynamics" by tritton; it was required (along with Landau) for the course I took. It is not so mathematical compared to Landau, and also doesn't cover surface waves (bummer!) but is an easy read for anyone who has taken even intermediate mechanics and EM. Lots of words to explain the physics and has some nice pictures; may be too light for someone like you, but great for getting physical insight.


    edit: you may also like these notes:
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  4. May 16, 2013 #3
    Elementary Fluid Dynamics by Acheson is quite good.
  5. May 16, 2013 #4
    If you're already at the grad level, there's no reason you can't use Landau as an intro to the subject, after all his series is intended to be self-contained as far as the physics is concerned (but certainly not the math).

    But I know Landau's are incredibly terse at times, so if you want a lighter reading to get a broad sense of the subject and start solving some elementary problems first, try looking for some good university lecture notes, there are dozens freely available from top universities if you google for it and I'm sure a few of them are good if not better than some of the major textbooks.

    There are also some old out of print books available freely now which are quite good, the first few chapters in Mihalas' "Foundations of Radiation Hydrodynamics" provide a short review of the basics of the subject.
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