3R42. Principles of Fluid Mechanics. - AN Alexandrou (Dept of Mech Eng, Worcester Polytechnic Inst). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River NJ. 2001. 573 pp. ISBN 0-13-801762-X. $100.00.

Reviewed by R Verzicco (Dept di Ingegneria Meccanica e Gestionale, Politecnico di Bari, Via Re David 200, Bari, 70125, Italy).

This book is an introductory text for fluid dynamics which contains enough material for two semesters of undergraduate courses. The organization of the material reflects the particular point of view of the author, and this gives the opportunity to have a look at standard concepts from a different perspective. The book contains also some material from experimental and computational fluid dynamics which have become of fundamental importance in modern courses.

The text contains 13 chapters and five appendices. Each chapter is focused on a particular topic and contains its own references and exercises. In the appendices, some complementary material is provided which is very useful for the application of theory to practical examples. The book closes with a subject index.

Chapter 1 opens the book with an introduction to fluid dynamics and its impact to design. Some solution methods are mentioned thus anticipating successive concepts. Standard fluid properties and system of units are then introduced. Chapter 2 is devoted to conservation laws for closed systems including the basic thermodynamics principles. In this chapter, a particular view of the hydrostatics is given in contrast to the standard approach which considers hydrostatics as a separate topic.

Chapter 3 derives the conservation laws for open systems starting from the Reynolds transport theorem. The successive chapter gives the concepts of position, velocity, and acceleration vectors thus introducing the Lagrangian and Eulerian perspectives and the deformation of a fluid element. Using these results, Chapter 5 reconsiders the conservation laws in differential form. The chapter is completed with a description of boundary conditions, constitutive relations, Navier-Stokes equations, and non-isothermal flows. Chapter 6 is concerned with non-dimensional analysis and similitude, including the Buckingham theorem and the distorted- or incomplete-similarity. Chapter 7 deals with the exact analytical solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations; there are some unusual solutions like the film drawing of the fully developed non-Newtonian channel flow even if the Couette plane channel is not considered; this solution, however, can be easily derived since the basic principles are described with enough details.

The concepts of boundary layer and separation together with exact and approximate solutions are given in Chapter 8. Turbulent boundary layers are analyzed using empirical laws and giving quantitative correlations. This chapter has a very broad content; it includes external flows, force coefficients (for wings and general shape objects), internal flow with a particular attention to viscous flows in pipes.

Chapter 9 considers ideal inviscid flows. In the first part, the Euler equations along streamline coordinates and the Bernoulli equations are discussed, while in the second part, the basic theory for two-dimensional potential flow is introduced. No mention is made of the three-dimensional potential flows.

The successive four chapters present additional material which could be taught as complementary material in a course. Chapter 10 deals with the dynamics of rotating fluids and turbo-machineries starting from the conservation of angular momentum for closed and open systems. Particular examples are then illustrated showing pumps, turbines, and propellers.

Chapter 11 describes compressible flows starting from the speed of sound up to normal and oblique shocks and expansions. At the end of the chapter, Rayleigh and Fanno flows are described. In Chapter 12, some basic concepts of experimental fluid dynamics are given by describing the main components of a data acquisition system and the main measurement techniques. The last chapter provides the fundamentals of computational fluid dynamics with solution schemes for algebraic, ordinary differential, and partial differential equations. Finally, simple techniques for the solution of viscous and inviscid flows are yielded.

The five appendices contain, respectively, fluid properties, compressible flow tables, differential form of the equations in Cartesian, cylindrical-polar and spherical coordinates, and some simple computer programs and background material (such as vector and tensor algebra and elementary calculus) for a better comprehension of the material in the book.

This reviewer believes that the quality of the book is adequate for the intended scope. The presented material is well explained and completed with a lot of examples whose solution can be used as a guideline for the numerous exercises at the end of each chapter. Many good-quality pictures contribute to make the exposition clear and pleasant.

In conclusion, Principles of Fluid Mechanics is suitable for adoption as a text for the undergraduate level. Concerning libraries, it could complete the existing literature for undergraduates providing an additional viewpoint.