ABOUT FLUID DYNAMICS: The study of the physics of fluid flow is called "fluid dynamics." A fluid is a material that deforms continuously when sheared. The most common fluids are liquids and gases, however plasmas and plastics can also be fluids. Understanding the mechanical processes that underlie fluid flow under different temperatures and pressures is important to applications such as the aerodynamics of aircraft, automobiles and ships, the flow of petroleum and water through pipelines, weather prediction, biological function in the human body, and even traffic engineering. Fluid dynamics is also essential to supersonic flows such as shock wave formation, detonation and supersonic transport.
The Materials Research Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.