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Last updated:

October 14, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This class introduces fluid dynamics to first year graduate students.

The aim is to help students acquire an understanding of some of the basic concepts of fluid dynamics that will be needed as a foundation for advanced courses in atmospheric science, physical oceanography, ocean engineering, etc. The emphasis will be on fluid fundamentals, but with an atmosphere/ocean twist.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduced the Instructor Unlimited
  • Maths primer Unlimited
  • Introduced Lagrangian and Eulerian frameworks giving pros and cons for each. Unlimited
  • Introduced the Cauchy-Stokes decomposition theorem Unlimited
  • Gave a real-world example of shear in a rock. Unlimited
  • Spent a little more time on singular vectors Unlimited
  • Distributed notes deriving the linear uncertainty propagator for a generic flow. Unlimited
  • Pseudo-derived the simple, linear constitutive equation of Stokes and provided interpretations and implications for each term. Unlimited
  • Recap of the previous week Unlimited
  • Returned to Boussinesq arguments about the energy equation Unlimited
  • Guest lecture by Jon Moskaitis. Unlimited
  • Another guest lecture by Jon Moskaitis. Unlimited
  • Long discussion on how to model interacting point vortices. Unlimited
  • Introduced the Helmholtz vortex theorems and provided arm waving proofs. Unlimited
  • Showed how to transform vectors between rotating and inertial frames. Unlimited
  • Began by deriving the period of inertial circles and comparing it with the period of the rotating frame. Unlimited
  • Recapped the momentum and vorticity equations in the rotating frame. Unlimited
  • Produced the height-gradient form of the geostrophic velocity equations and provided many examples of geostrophy by looking at 500mb height maps. Unlimited
  • Recapped inertial circles, geostrophy, gradient wind, and cyclostrophic wind. Unlimited
  • Recapped inertial circles Unlimited
  • Started with a quick recap of the mass transport in the Ekman layer Unlimited
  • Waves Primer Unlimited
  • Derived the fixed depth Unlimited
  • Began by recapping the “recipe” for producing dispersion relations and performing stability analysis (identify equations Unlimited
  • A day of gravity waves Unlimited

About the instructor


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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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