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Book Cover ISBN Number 1-928729-46-0
Basic Fluid Mechanics (Fifth Edition)

by David C. Wilcox
Published: DCW Industries, Inc. (December 2012)
Hardcover, 894 pages, 4.5 lb.
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F. B. Gessner, University of Washington
"I am particularly impressed with the clarity and thoroughness of each topic covered in the text...[The] problem solutions on the CD are among the best I have seen...My students would second these comments without reservation."

R. N. Meroney, Colorado State
"I had a great experience with `Basic Fluid Mechanics' for a Civil Engineering class in fluid mechanics. Several surveys held during the semester asking how the students liked the book produced uniformly great responses. This is fantastic since I have had uniform dissatisfaction with more than 5 other texts over the past 10 years."

F. K. Browand, USC
"The solution manual is so thorough it serves as an additional teaching aid. And best of all, the solutions have been done by the author."

A. Nadim, Boston University
"I have found 'Basic Fluid Mechanics' by David Wilcox to provide some of the clearest expositions of the fundamental concepts in fluid dynamics. The book is ideal for preparing undergraduate students for advanced work (e.g. graduate study) in fluid mechanics."

What's New in the Fifth Edition of Basic Fluid Mechanics?...
The fifth edition of Basic Fluid Mechanics includes several enhancements, all inspired by input from students and professors who have used the fourth edition. The most notable revisions are as follows.

  • The discussion of dynamic similitude has been improved.
  • The presentation of the U. S. Standard Atmosphere has been expanded.
  • The discussion of accelerating control volumes has been simplified and clarified.
  • Numerous revisions have been made in the chapter on the energy principle.
  • New material has been added to the chapters on turbomachinery and on lift and drag.
  • The discussion of the Magnus force has been revised.
  • The number of homework problems has been increased, and more than half of the problems have been either revised or replaced by new ones.
The overall philosophy of striking a balance amongst analytical, computational and experimental aspects of fluid mechanics remains unaltered. Above all, the goal of the revisions has been to address the needs and desires of students who wish to learn the fundamentals of fluid mechanics.

An Antidote for Oversimplified Textbooks...
If you would like to break away from the large publishers' approach that many professors describe as "fluid mechanics for the masses," "excessive fluff" and "delaying the appearance of PDE's to Chapter 12," this may be the book you have been looking for! This book rejects the modern, watered-down approach that (in at least one modern text) apologizes for the need to use concepts from freshman calculus and (in most cases) emphasizes everything but the basics of fluid motion. Written in an easy-to-read style that students have praised virtually everywhere the book has been used, there is no need to have artificial devices such as one-sentence descriptions on each page to help orient the reader. The worked examples have been integrated into the presentation in a format which insures that the basic concepts are easy to locate. That is, the major flaws of the book's major competitors, all of which are suitable for only a one-semester course, do not plague Basic Fluid Mechanics.

Thoroughly Proofread...
Every edition of Basic Fluid Mechanics is thououghly proofread by the author, other professors and students. This stands in distinct contrast to books published by most major publishers. Too many modern fluid mechanics books seem to have escaped the vetting process, and numerous errors in both the narrative and in the equations abound. When typographical errors are found in DCW Industries' publications, they are cataloged on DCW Industries' WWW Home Page.

What's in Basic Fluid Mechanics?...
It is the fourth major engineering book by Dr. Wilcox, and is based upon his 30 years of teaching beginning and intermediate undergraduate courses in fluid mechanics at USC and UCLA. The book provides a rigorous and understandable, two-semester, introduction to fluid mechanics. It gives an excellent introduction to elements of computational fluid dynamics, and includes practical software to help master the concepts. While maintaining a commitment to mathematical rigor throughout, the text continually emphasizes the physics of fluid motion. The text has been adopted for use at approximately 50 universities in the USA and abroad. The book's success thus far has been at universities that object to the continual "dumbing down" of undergraduate texts.

Basic Fluid Mechanics is an exciting and innovative junior/senior level text that provides an introduction to the basic concepts of fluid mechanics. It has also been used as an introductory text for graduate students with no prior knowledge of fluid mechanics. The book recognizes the fact that the modern fluid dynamicist has three research tools at his or her disposal, namely, analytical methods, experimentation and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). It makes full recognition of this triad of approaches that constitute today's unified theory of fluid mechanics. Highlights of the book's special features are:

  • Above all, the book has integrity in the sense that the book has a central theme revolving around the control-volume method, dimensional analysis, establishing logical problem-solving methods, and continually stressing the physics of fluid motion (as opposed to the disorganization that often grows out of a long series of revisions).
  • It is accompanied by a two-volume, 2,029-page, typeset, carefully-proofread solution manual developed by the author (as opposed to the common practice of having a graduate student prepare the solution manual).
  • It presents an integrated, three-pronged approach of analytical, experimental and computational (CFD) methods for analyzing fluid-flow problems (as opposed to appending a stand-alone chapter on CFD).
  • More than 1,000 homework problems ranging from straightforward to truly challenging, and sometimes humorous -- the problems are designed to stimulate abstraction (as opposed to solving by pattern recognition).
  • Many of the CFD problems illustrate important points utilizing the programs supplied on the diskette supplied with the book.
  • The treatment of key topics such as boundary layers, turbulence, separation, airfoil theory and CFD is carefully and thoughtfully done.
  • It can be used for a two-course sequence in fluid mechanics.
  • Each of the last 5 chapters include elements of CFD that Dr. Patrick J. Roache says are the "best of all possible topics that could possibly be included at this level." In their very first exposure to CFD, for example, students learn about Richardson extrapolation, Roache's Grid Convergence Index and the need for control of accuracy in CFD.
  • Source code for all of the CFD examples is included on a disk that comes with the book.
  • Solutions to odd-numbered problems are included on the CD that comes with the book. Downloadable updates of the file are available online.

The book has undergone extensive review by peers and students. Review copies are available on request for universities interested in considering the book for adoption. The book has 15 chapters as follows (Click here to view the Table of Contents).):

  1. Introduction: Basic properties of fluids; continuum approximation; compressibility; surface tension; viscosity. Click here to view Chapter 1.
  2. Dimensional Analysis: Buckingham pi theorem; indicial method; E. S. Taylor's method; dynamic similitude.
  3. Effects of Gravity on Pressure: Hydrostatic relation; atmospheric pressure variation; hydrometry; hydrostatic forces on planar and curved surfaces; buoyancy.
  4. Kinematics: Eulerian vs. Lagrangian description; steady and unsteady flows; vorticity and circulation; streamlines, streaklines and pathlines; Reynolds Transport Theorem.
  5. Mass and Momentum Principles: Derivation of mass and momentum principles in integral and differential form; Bernoulli's Equation; velocity measurement techniques; Galilean invariance of Euler's equation.
  6. Control-Volume Method: Detailed discussion and demonstration of the control volume method with numerous examples; indirect computation of forces; deforming control volumes; accelerating control volumes.
  7. Energy Principle: Review of thermodynamics; integral form of the energy equation; differential form for adiabatic, inviscid flow; entropy generation; pipe flow; open channel flow. Click here to view Chapter 7.
  8. One-Dimensional Compressible Flow: Classification of compressible flow regimes; speed of sound; subsonic vs. supersonic flow; streamtube analysis; total conditions; normal shock waves; Laval nozzle.
  9. Turbomachinery: Integral form of the angular-momentum principle; elementary pump theory; Euler turbomachine equations; efficiency and performance; specific speed; turbines.
  10. Vorticity, Viscosity, Lift and Drag: The vortex force; Helmholtz's Theorem; d'Alembert's Paradox; boundary conditions at a solid boundary; viscous effects and vorticity generation; diffusion of vorticity; lift and drag of common objects.
  11. Potential Flow: Mathematical foundation; streamlines and equipotential lines; fundamental solutions; flow past a cylinder with and without vorticity; accelerating cylinder; Rankine oval; method of images; airfoil flow; Kutta condition; source and vortex sheets; discretization approximations; relaxation methods; numerical solution for flow past a vertical plate; solution convergence and grid sensitivity.
  12. Viscous Effects: Molecular transport of momentum; kinematics of a fluid particle; the viscous stress tensor; integral form of the momentum equation for a viscous fluid; Navier's equation; Stokes' postulate; Navier-Stokes equation; the vorticity equation; vortex stretching; explicit time-marching methods; von Neumann stability analysis; MacCormack's method; numerical solution for flow over a plate with uniform suction. Click here to view Chapter 12.
  13. Navier-Stokes Solutions: Couette flow; Channel flow; Pipe flow; Stokes' first problem; Stokes' second problem; stagnation-point flow; implicit time-marching methods; Crank-Nicolson method; Thomas' algorithm; numerical solution for stagnation-point flow.
  14. Boundary Layers: Boundary-layer equations; momentum-integral equation; Blasius solution; Falkner-Skan solution; boundary-layer separation; turbulence; general properties of turbulent flow; Reynolds averaging; turbulent boundary-layer structure; mixing-length hypothesis; modern turbulence theories; parabolic marching methods; Blottner's variable-grid method; prediction of separation on a Rankine oval.
  15. Viscous and 2-D Compressible Flow: Integral form of the energy equation for a viscous, heat-conducting fluid; differential form; entropy generation revisited; Fanno flow; Rayleigh flow; oblique shock waves; Prandtl-Meyer expansion; compressible boundary layers; conservative differencing; numerical dissipation and dispersion; propagating shocks and expansions.

The text includes an extensive Bibliography, a detailed Index and 5 appendices. The appendices include fluid properties, compressible flow tables, useful mathematical theorems, equations of motion in various coordinate systems, and a description of the companion software.

Companion CD and Software...
The companion CD includes a 78-page users-guide for the companion software that primarily corresponds to the Computational Fluid Dynamics sections in Chapters 11 through 15. The CD includes the following.

  • FORTRAN source code
  • Executable programs built with the Lahey Fortran-90 compiler
  • Menu-driven Visual C++ input-data preparation programs that should function on all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system
  • Visual C++ plotting programs to display program output in graphical form
  • Detailed technical and user information
The programs, including the chapters in which they are pertinent, are as follows.
  • ATMOSPHERE computes thermodynamic properties of Earth's atmosphere according to the U. S. Standard Atmosphere model (Chapter 3).
  • BURGER solves Burger's equation for a propagating shock wave or a propagating expansion wave using MacCormack's explicit time-marching method (Chapter 15).
  • EDDYBL is a two-dimensional/axisymmetric boundary-layer program applicable to compressible boundary layers under laminar, transitional and turbulent flow conditions (Chapters 14 and 15).
  • EKMAN solves for a boundary layer in a rotating coordinate frame using the Crank-Nicolson implicit time-marching method (Chapter 13).
  • FALKSKAN solves for a self-similar boundary layer with pressure gradient using the Crank-Nicolson implicit time-marching method (Chapter 14).
  • JEFFERYH solves for flow in converging and diverging channels using the Crank-Nicolson implicit time-marching method (Chapter 13).
  • MAC69 solves for a laminar boundary layer with uniform suction, channel flow or Couette-Poiseuille flow using MacCormack's explicit time-marching method (Chapter 12).
  • POTFLOW solves for potential flow past a vertically-oriented flat plate using standard underrelaxation (Chapter 11).
  • RANKIN solves for flow past a Rankine oval (Chapters 11 and 14).
  • ROTATE solves for flow above a rotating disk using the Crank-Nicolson implicit time-marching method (Chapter 13).
  • STAGPT solves for two-dimensional or axisymmetric stagnation-point flow using the Crank-Nicolson implicit time-marching method (Chapter 13).
  • STOKES solves for flow above an impulsively accelerated flat plate (Stokes' First Problem) using MacCormack's explicit time-marching method (Chapter 13).
For all of the programs on the companion CD, the accompanying menu-driven input-data preparation programs include default input values that can be modified as needed. Additionally, for Program EDDYBL, the companion CD contains input-data files for numerous boundary-layer flows, including cases cited in homework problems in the book. The documentation on the CD indicates the flow each file corresponds to.

Solution Manual and Lecture Notes...
The 2,029-page solution manual is provided on a CD for professors who adopt the book for course use. It is entirely typeset in LaTex and has been carefully proofread to insure accuracy. Some of the solutions are 3 or more pages long and have been prepared by Dr. Wilcox with enough detail that they can serve as an additional teaching aid.

The CD also includes a complete set of Dr. Wilcox's lecture notes that have been developed at USC and UCLA during the past 30 years. They have been prepared as a Power Point Presentation. There are more than 650 slides that address all major topics covered in the text. They should be especially helpful to a professor who is teaching the course for the first time who needs to develop a set of lecture notes. The CD includes the Power Point source files so that they can be modified for personal taste and need. The veteran teacher with an established set of lecture notes can make use of some of the figures, graphs and tables to further enhance his or her existing presentation.

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