Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a relatively young branch of fluid dynamics, the other two being the experimental and the theoretical disciplines. Its rapid development was enabled by the spectacular progress in high power computers, as well as by a matching progress in numerical schemes.
The starting point for the formulation of CFD schemes is the governing equations. In fact, the term “fluid dynamical equations” is much too general and indeed ambivalent. In practice there exist numerous models of such equations. They reflect a variety of stipulations on the nature of the flow, such as compressibility, viscosity, or elasticity. They also involve various effects such as heat conduction or chemical reactions. A large portion of these models do not fall, mathematically speaking, under the category of “hyperbolic conservation laws,” which is the subject matter of this monograph. We refer the reader to the book by Landau and Lifshitz [75] for a general survey of fluid dynamical models.
In this monograph we are concerned with time-dependent, inviscid, compressible flow, which is studied primarily in the “quasi-one-dimensional” geometric setting. This leads to a system of partial differential equations expressing the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy. There are various approaches to the numerical resolution of this system, such as the classical method of characteristics or the “artificial viscosity” scheme.