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Last updated:

September 17, 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

  • Gave handout on kinematics Unlimited
  • Went over the class description and the course syllabus Unlimited
  • Maths primer Unlimited
  • Introduced Lagrangian and Eulerian frameworks giving pros and cons for each. Unlimited
  • Defined the linear strain rate, the shear strain rate, and the rigid rotation rate Unlimited
  • Gave a real-world example of shear in a rock Unlimited
  • Spent a little more time on singular vectors Unlimited
  • Introduced the Boussinesq and anelastic approximations for the continuity equation Unlimited
  • Attempted to interpret each of the terms in the equation Unlimited
  • Recap of the previous week Unlimited
  • Notes (with some typos) are available for download 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 Unlimited
  • Recapped the momentum and vorticity equations in the rotating frame Unlimited
  • Produced the height-gradient form of the geostrophic Unlimited
  • Recapped inertial circles, geostrophy, gradient wind, and cyclostrophic wind Unlimited
  • Recapped inertial circles, geostrophy, gradient wind Unlimited
  • Started with a quick recap of the mass transport in the Ekman layer Unlimited
  • Waves Primer Unlimited
  • Derived the fixed depth, barotropic, inviscid vorticity Unlimited
  • Began by recapping the “recipe” for producing dispersion Unlimited
  • A day of gravity waves. Started from the shallow water Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology