In 1917 …

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In 1917 …

Post by WebPilot » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:20 am

In 1917, the British scientist L. F. Richardson made the first reported attempt to predict the weather by solving partial differential equations numerically, by hand! It is generally accepted that Richardson’s work, though unsuccessful, marked the beginning of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), a large branch of Scientific Computing today.

His work had the four distinguishing characteristics of CFD: a PRACTICAL PROBLEM to solve, a MATHEMATICAL MODEL to represent the problem in the form of a set of partial differential equations, a NUMERICAL METHOD and a COMPUTER, human beings in Richardson’s case. Eighty years on and these four elements remain the pillars of modern CFD.

It is therefore not surprising that the generally accepted definition of CFD as the science of computing numerical solutions to Partial Differential or Integral Equations that are models for fluid flow phenomena, closely embodies Richardson‘s work.
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