Interim Summary

At this stage, let us pause and think about the various equations we have developed. Do not fall into the trap of seeing these equations as just a jumble of mathematical symbols that, by now, might look all the same to you. Quite the contrary, these equations speak words: e. g., Equations (2.48), (2.52), (2.53), and (2.54) all say that mass is conserved; Equations (2.64), (2.70a to c), (2.71), and (2.72a to c) are statements of Newton’s second law applied to a fluid flow; Equations (2.95) to (2.98) say that energy is conserved. It is very important to be able to see the physical principles behind these equations. When you look at an equation, try to develop the ability to see past a collection of mathematical symbols and, instead, to read the physics that the equation represents.

The equations listed above are fundamental to all of aerodynamics. Take the time to go back over them. Become familiar with the way they are developed, and make yourself comfortable with their final forms. In this way, you will find our subsequent aerodynamic applications that much easier to understand.

Also, note our location on the road map shown in Figure 2.1. We have finished the items on the left branch of the map—we have obtained the basic flow equations containing the fundamental physics of fluid flow. We now start with the branch on the right, which is a collection of useful concepts helpful in the application of the basic flow equations.

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