Interactive Self-Study Module: Blasius Solution


This module uses screencasts and interactive simulations to derive the Blasius solution and demonstrate its use for viscous, incompressible laminar flow past an object. The development of a similarity solution is presented.  It then provides example problems to allow users to test themselves. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple choice ConcepTest and solve the example problem before watching the screencast.
  2. Watch the screencasts that describe how the Blasius solution is derived, as well as those that show simple physical situations where the Blasius equation can be applied, and answer the questions within the screencast.
  3. Try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts.
  4. Answer the ConcepTests.
  5. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.
  • The Blasius is a simple solution for the nonlinear partial differential equations that govern boundary layer flow.
  • This module is intended for fluid dynamic courses.
Before studying this module, you should:
  • Know the importance of the Reynolds number.
  • Understand what a similarity solution is.
  • Be familiar with the Navier-Stokes equation.
  • Be able to apply boundary conditions.
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Determine the thickness of a boundary layer.
  • Find a velocity at any point in a boundary layer.
  • Calculate the boundary layer thickness as a function of the Reynolds number.