Le Potentiel de vitesse pour les écoulements de fluides réels : la contribution de Joseph-Louis Lagrange
Velocity Potential in Real Fluid Flows : Joseph-Louis Lagrange’s Contribution
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australie
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Today the concept of “potential flow” is too often associated, wrongly, with the notion of ideal, hence inviscid fluid. Herein the original development of Joseph-Louis LAGRANGE is presented. He introduced the velocity potential for real fluid flows, provided that the resultant of the forces derives from a potential. In the same article, LAGRANGE also presented the concept of stream function and the equation of the celerity of a small disturbance in shallow-water. LAGRANGE made an outstanding contribution in 1781 and he was truly ahead of his time.
Key words: Velocity potential / Irrotational flow motion / Real fluids / Joseph-Louis LAGRANGE / Stream function / Wave celerity.
© Société Hydrotechnique de France, 2007