|Through the centuries, the intricacies of fluid mechanics is the study of the laws of motion and fluids in motion, have occupied many of history's greatest minds. In this pioneering account, a distinguished aeronautical scientist presents a history of fluid mechanics focusing on the achievements of the pioneering scientists and thinkers whose inspirations and experiments lay behind the evolution of such disparate devices as irrigation lifts, ocean liners, windmills, fireworks and spacecraft. The development of fluid mechanics is briefly reviewed and the importance of fluid flows to heat and mass transport in nature as well as to science and engineering is outlined. The early theoretical developments are explained and it is indicated that the basic equations were available at the end of the 18th century. Methods to solve these equations for engineering flows were not, however, developed until the second half of the 20th century. This was an important period for fluid flow research during which all the experimental fluid mechanics methods particularly the optical methods that are available today were also developed. Various measuring techniques will be reviewed in the paper emphasizing those techniques to which the author and his co- workers were able to make recognized contributions.
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