PHY-30030 - Physics of Fluids
Coordinator: Raphael Hirschi Room: LJ2.09 Tel: +44 1782 7 33324
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective





Successful completion of level 2 in Physics or Astrophysics

Barred Combinations

Can not be taken with MAT-30004 (Fluid mechanics)

Description for 2023/24

This module will introduce students to the physics of fluids, which treats objects under study as continuous bodies rather than point particles. Although the physics of fluids is based on very few basic principles (conservation of mass, momentum and energy), the field has immense practical applications in the real world. After introducing the main concepts and laws, these will be applied to selected topics relevant in nature and space (e.g. tsunamis). This module will also introduce the students to computational fluid dynamics, i.e. how to implement fluids dynamics theory into a computer programme in order to solve a problem. Students will then use computer programs to study basic flows. This will provide students with essential skills for their future career in research at post-graduate level or in the industry. This optional core module is open to students in Level 3 of any degree programme in Physics or Astrophysics. Successful completion of level 5 in Physics or Astrophysics is the only entry requirement.

Provide an introduction to the physics of fluids by teaching the theory of fluid dynamics, reviewing some of its applications (e.g. convection) and teaching the basics of computational fluid dynamics.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Understand the basic principles and laws governing the physics of fluids (e.g. momentum/Euler equations): 1,2
Use computer programs to solve basic problems in fluid dynamics: 1
Manipulate the equations of fluid dynamics in an applied context and numerically solve related problems: 1,2
Analyse and interpret complex processes like convection in the framework of fluid dynamics theory, making reasonable approximations: 1,2
Apply the laws of fluid dynamics to specific topics found in nature and space (e.g. tsunamis): 1,2

Study hours

Lectures: 24 hours
Tutorials: 12 hours
Problem Sheets: 24 hours
Private Study and Directed Reading: 90 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Problem Sheets weighted 30%
Assessed problem sheets
Assessed problem sheets (3 or 4 in total) covering the topics taught in this module. Some assessed problem sheets will require the use of computer programs in order to solve the problems.

2: Unseen Exam weighted 70%
2-hour unseen written examination
Unseen examination with a mix of bookwork and problem-solving.