Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Suggestions on acing Fluid Mechanics please!

  1. Nov 2, 2012 #1
    Hello, I'm new to the forum.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for doing well on Fluid Mechanics? I got a 34 on my previous test (class average was a 35..).

    Any help would be appreciated. Ideally, I would love to find something like mech movies for mechanics of materials.

    My biggest problem is that I can't seem to solve any of the homework problems without referring to the solutions guide for assistance.

    Thanks in advance,

    - Matt
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2012 #2
    When I took fluid mechanics, i had to work on the problems with a group of students. And you have to make sure that you can do the examples during class and ask your professor if you dont understand, because if you cant understand the examples, you wont understand the homework.
  4. Nov 3, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If you want to do well in fluid mechanics, don't just focus on problems. Make sure you understand the basic concepts like conservation laws, thermodynamics and the boundary conditions. Knowing the process to solve a problem is one thing, but knowing the first principles is the best way to be able to arrive at those processes on your own rather than memorizing recipes.
  5. Nov 3, 2012 #4
    On top of understanding basic concepts as suggested, you should probably try working the problems multiple times. I work a problem 2-3 times with referring to solution when I need to and keep working it until I can work it with no referencing. It's what I do for all my classes, and it seems to be working in Fluids this semester. It is time consuming, but well worth it.
  6. Nov 3, 2012 #5
    Know the material, know the examples, annoy the prof with questions when you don't understand something, form a study group.

    If you have to refer to the solution manual, try to understand what is going on in the answer, don't just write it down!
  7. Nov 3, 2012 #6
    Of course, just writing it down over and over memorizing one problem will not help. But if you work it through step by step and each time learn a new reason why you're doing a certain step then it really helps.
  8. Nov 3, 2012 #7
    My biggest recommendation would be to learn the physics in the most basic forms and understand how to simplify those basic forms for whatever problem you are working.

    I'm talking about conservation of mass, momentum, angular momentum, and energy both in differential and integral forms. Note that everyone's beloved bernoulli equation is in here (it is a form of the energy equation, essentially a conservation of mechanical energy).

    I see a lot of students that don't actually think about the physics and don't understand what equations or forms of the equation to work with. Then they get bogged down working with an equation that is incorrectly applied and because they didn't think about the physics they never catch their mistakes.

    If your looking for some great (classic) movies, see here: http://web.mit.edu/hml/ncfmf.html.
  9. Nov 4, 2012 #8
    Exactly WannaBeME! A lot of problems in fluids aren't straight forward, imo. Understanding what the question is asking, and as MrMatt2532 pointed out, knowing the physics will be extremely helpful.

    For me, fluids was one of my most challenging course, and everything that has been laid out so far is how I got through it.
  10. Nov 7, 2012 #9
    Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I've learned more from failing my first test (part 1 and 2.. if had a second part to the first test because the class average was so low) than any of the homework to be honest with you.

    I'll be posting for help pretty soon!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook