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Boundary-Layer Theory

Module MW0798

This Module is offered by Chair of Aerodynamics and Fluid mechanics (Prof. Adams).

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2011/2

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2020WS 2011/2SS 2011

Basic Information

MW0798 is a semester module in German language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 45 h 5 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Based on the existing knowledge of Fluidmechanics I/II the general context of Navier-Stokes equations is repeated and their analytical solution are discussed. Furthermore, the following topics from boundary-layer theory are taught:
- derivation of the boundary-layer equations from the Navier-Stokes equations
- solutions to the incompressible boundary-layer equations for two-dimensional flat-plate flows
- temperature boundary layers
- compressible boundary layers
- three-dimensional boundary layers
- stability theory - laminar-turbulent transition
- turbulent boundary layers
- experimental boundary-layer research

Learning Outcome

The students have the following proficiencies after the successful completion of the module boundary layer theory:
1.) Knowledge of the basic procedure how to simplify viscous fluids equations as well as in thermodynamics
2.) Knowledge of the formulation of boundary layer equation for different fluids and flows,
3.) The ability to approximately describe the behaviour of fluids in the vicinity of walls by means of simple differential equations
4.) The ability to estimate integral boundary-layer parameters
5.) The ability to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate approximate solutions to more complex flows around profiles, etc., by means of boundary-layer theory solutions
6.) The ability to describe the formation of turbulence with a transition process based on instabilities.


Fluidmechanics I, Fluidmechanics II, Thermodynamics, eventually heat- and mass transfer would be beneficial but is not mandatory.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The mathematical equations and contexts mediated in the lecture are derived on the board and additionally shown on powerpoint-slides. In the exercise, the contents are illustrated and intensified. The solution to problem sets in boundary-layer theory is elaborated and demonstrated through the application of studied contents. Materials and applications for the lecture as well as for the exercise are provided on an E-Learning platform to intensify the studied contents.


Multimedial supported frontal lecture supplemented through the E-Learning portal


Lecture script, lecture slides, exercise materials with solution, addition materials on the e-learning portal.
Schlichting "Grenzschichttheorie", Frank M. White "Viscous Fluid Flow".

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The exam will be held in a written format (overall duration 90 minutes). The exam content covers the entire lecture content. Facts- and context based knowledge is shown in a question/short answer part of 30 minutes duration. Problem-solving competence is asked for in a calculation exercise part (duration 60 minutes), whereby coherent problems should be solved with the aid of a provided formulary.
Allowed aid: non-programmable calculator.
The module will be taught in English in the summer term.
In winter, the module will be taught in German.
The exam can be taken in English as well as in German at the end of each term - summer and winter.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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