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A Brief Biography of Ludwig Prandtl

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Fluid Dynamics is a subject that is well over 2,000 years old. Archimedes, da Vinci, Galileo and Newton are all classical forerunners of modern fluid dynamics researchers such as Bernoulli and Euler (Anderson 42). However, until the early 19th century, this subject was not well quantified; instead, textbooks were comprised of endless tables and figures demonstrating phenomena. When Daniel Bernoulli, Claude Navier and George Stokes introduced mathematics to the realm of fluid flow, new research was possible, but this work was highly theoretical and required extensive use of differential equations (Eckert 15). Ludwig Prandtl was the man who quantified many fluid flow principles and created his own theories about boundary separation and airfoil dynamics.

Ludwig Prandtl was born in Freising, Bavaria on February 4, 1875. An only child, Prandtl often followed closely to his father due to his mother’s “protracted illness” (Anderson 46). His father was an engineering professor and was said to have continually motivated Ludwig to look beyond observations to discover the natural principles at work. Regardless of his motivation, Prandtl attended the Technische Hochschule in Munich, Germany, and he eventually graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Munich under adviser August Foppl (Anderson 46). After a few years in industry and three years as a professor of mechanics at the technical school in Hanover, Prandtl accepted a position at the University of Göttingen in 1904. By 1898, both of his parents had died, and in 1909, he married Gertrude Foppl, the daughter of his academic adviser (Anderson 47).

The event which launched Prandtl into the limelight of fluid dynamics was the delivery of his paper “Ueber Flussigkeitsbewe...

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...Commission. Web. 29 Mar

2011. .

"Ludwig Prandtl “Father of Modern Aerodynamics.”" DLR (German Aersospace Center).

2/9/2007. Web. 29 Mar 2011.
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Prandtl, Ludwig. Essentials of Fluid Dynamics. Translated. New York: Hafner Publishing

Company, 1952. 106-136. Print.

Wikipedia contributors. "Adolf Busemann." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The

Free Encyclopedia, 3 Oct. 2010. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.

Wikipedia contributors. "Michael Max Munk." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia,

The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Nov. 2010. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.

Wikipedia contributors. "Theodore von Kármán." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia,

The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Mar. 2011. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.
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