Potential Flow Theory

  • Mrinal KaushikEmail author


In an irrotational flow field, one can use either velocity potential or stream function to characterize the flow and both must fulfill Laplace equation. Besides, the investigation of this equation is substantially less demanding than the coordinate approach of completely viscous Navier–Stokes equations. The linearity of Laplace equation enables to add various basic solutions to obtain more complicated solutions. The investigation of these solutions of Laplace equation is referred to as potential flow theory, which has a great deal of practical applications in characterizing complex flow fields. In this chapter, we will discuss the velocity potential and stream function for a couple of rudimentary flow fields, for example, uniform flow, source/sink, doublet flow, and vortex; they can be superimposed to get complex flow fields of practical importance.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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