Compressible flow

Compressible flow (or gas dynamics) is the branch of fluid mechanics that deals with flows having significant changes in fluid density. Gases, mostly, display such behaviour. While all flows are compressible, flows are usually treated as being incompressible when the Mach number (the ratio of the speed of the flow to the speed of sound) is less than 0.3 (since the density change due to velocity is about 5% in that case). The study of compressible flow is relevant to high-speed aircraft, jet engines, rocket motors, high-speed entry into a planetary atmosphere, gas pipelines, commercial applications such as abrasive blasting, and many other fields.


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