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Physical meaning of material derivative

  1. Dec 12, 2007 #1
    Dear all,

    For my Ph.D research. I have to use the material derivative concept. I reviewed some of my previous continuum mechanics course notes but this topic was superficial in our course. I am reading the book "A first course in continuum mechanics" by Fung. I also noted from some books in the library that the material derivative is the "time rate change measured by an observer moving with the specific particles under study". I can understand the mathematical concept from Fung's book but I have difficulty in visualizing it in my mind.

    Can someone kindly explain the physical meaning of the material derivative with some physical examples?


  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2007 #2
    It is the Total Derivative that mathematicians use, with variables t,x,y,z.

    Sometimes called the Substantial Derivative - in fluid mechanics - as used in the derivation of the Navier-Stokes equations.
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