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Last updated:

July 30, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


2.26 is a 6-unit Honors-level subject serving as the Mechanical Engineering department’s sole course in compressible fluid dynamics.

The prerequisites for this course are undergraduate courses in thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and heat transfer.

The goal of this course is to lay out the fundamental concepts and results for the compressible flow of gases. Topics to be covered include: appropriate conservation laws; propagation of disturbances; isentropic flows; normal shock wave relations, oblique shock waves, weak and strong shocks, and shock wave structure; compressible flows in ducts with area changes, friction, or heat addition; heat transfer to high speed flows; unsteady compressible flows, Riemann invariants, and piston and shock tube problems; steady 2D supersonic flow, Prandtl-Meyer function; and self-similar compressible flows. The emphasis will be on physical understanding of the phenomena and basic analytical techniques.

Course Curriculum

  • Mass Conservation, Euler’s Equation Sound Speed, Mach Number Unlimited
  • Thermo Ideal Gases Unlimited
  • Variable Area Flow, Choked Unlimited
  • Energy Equation Entropy Equation Unlimited
  • Flow with Heat Addition, Rayleigh Line Shock Waves: Conservation Relations Unlimited
  • Hugoniot Relation, Normal Shocks, Moving Shocks, Weak and Strong Shocks Unlimited
  • Oblique Shocks Detonations Unlimited
  • Continuum Shock Wave Structure Unlimited
  • Piston Problems, Boundary Interactions, Shock Tubes Unlimited
  • Steady 2D Supersonic Flows: Mach Waves Unlimited

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology