1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook