Cambridge etc.: Cambridge University Press. IX, 528 p. hbk: £30.00; pbk: £12.50 (1983).
Fluid mechanics is one of the fundamental topics in many disciplines and an applied mathematician must have an appreciation of the diverse areas of applications besides a deep understanding of the basic theory. This book appears to be very successful as an introductory text in this direction. The aerodynamic design of a car, the movement of devastating cyclones, the swells in the Atlantic Ocean or the behaviour of a tall chimney in a breeze are a few examples of the applications, sprinkled throughout the book. A judicious mixture of the basic fundamentals and practical applications makes the book lively to read.
The first eleven chapters of the book cover the ground work foundation. The mathematical preliminaries, the physical behaviour of fluids, the experimental study of fluids, mass conservation and stream functions, vorticity, hydrostatics, thermofluid dynamics, equations of motion of fluids, simple solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations, inviscid flows and the ideas of potential theory are the titles of these chapters, which clearly indicate the range and style of coverage. The next six chapters take the readers to the more advanced applications, namely sound waves in fluids, water surface waves, high speed flow of air, nonlinear motions in channels, complex potential treatment of two dimensional problems and conformal mapping as applied to airfoil theory.
Each chapter has a set of exercises to develop and reinforce the understanding of the material. Hints for solutions and answers are provided in most cases for the student to test himself. Each chapter has also a set of references to guide the students to the texts which provide more detailed coverages. Over 350 drawings are used to illustrate the salient points.
In addition to the above attractive features, the book is written in an easy pleasant style. As a consequence it is likely to be popular. The book is recommended strongly.