Rouse Educational Films

Former IIHR Director Hunter Rouse conceived, wrote, directed, and narrated this series of five education films on fluid mechanics, which were produced at IIHR in the early 1960s. The series has been continuously in use around the world to educate students on introductory concepts; fundamental principles; gravitational effects; laminar and turbulent flow; and lift, draft, and compressibility. The series was groundbreaking in many ways—including the use of color throughout and the quick pace of the presentation. The films are available to view here or on the University of Iowa’s YouTube channel.

The Films

Introduction to the Study of Fluid Motion

Designed to orient engineering students, this video shows examples of flow phenomena from a host of everyday experi­ences. Empirical solutions by means of scale models are illustrated. The significance of the Euler, Froude, Reynolds, and Mach numbers as similitude parameters is illustrated.

Fundamental Principles of Flow

Second in the series, this video departs from the essential generality of the first by explicitly illustrating, through experi­ment and animation, the basic concepts and physical relation­ships that are involved in the analysis of fluid motion. The concepts of velocity, acceleration, circulation, and vorticity are introduced, and the use of integral equations of motion is demonstrated by a simple example.

Fluid Motion in a Gravitational Field

In this third video of the series, which proceeds from the intro­ductory and the basic material presented in the first two videos, emphasis is laid upon the action of gravity. Principles of wave propagation are illustrated, including aspects of gen­eration, celerity, reflection, stability, and reduction to steadiness by relative motion. Simulation of comparable phenomena in the atmosphere and the ocean is considered.

Characteristics of Laminar & Turbulent Flow

The fourth video deals with the effect of viscosity. Dye, smoke, suspended particles, and hydrogen-bubbles are used to reveal the velocity field.

Various combinations of Couette and plane Poiseuille flow introduce the principles of lubrication. Axisymmetric Poiseuille flow and development of the flow around an elliptic cylinder are related to variation in the Reynolds number, and the growth of the boundary layer along a flat plate is shown.

Instability in boundary layers and pipe flow is shown to lead to turbulence. The eddy viscosity and apparent stress are intro­duced by hotwire-anemometer indications. The processes of turbulence production, turbulent mixing, and turbulence decay are considered.

Form Drag, Lift, and Propulsion

In the fifth video of the series, emphasis is laid upon the role of boundary-layer separation in modifying the flow pattern and producing longitudinal and lateral components of force on a moving body. Various conditions of separation and methods of separation control are first illustrated. Attention is then given to the distribution of pressure around typical body profiles and its relation to the resulting drag. The concept of circulation introduced in the second film is developed to explain the forces on rotating bodies and the forced vibration of cylin­dri­cal bodies. Structural failure of unstable sections is demonstrated.