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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical episodes but without physical insight., 11 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A History and Philosophy of Fluid Mechanics (Dover Civil and Mechanical Engineering) (Paperback)
I bought this book hoping for an undemanding, intuitive, intro to fluid physics. Was sorely disappointed. The author does highlight some curious episodes in the history of fluids, and agitates for the priority claims of certain under-rated scientists. He does quote from some of the seminal papers, e.g., those of Archimedes, Newton, etc. But his commentary does not in any wise help even a trained theoretical physicist to decipher the physics behind these arcane old documents. I had to struggle entirely on my own, since his physical remarks added zero to my understanding. Don't read this expecting any Feynmanesque ability to shed a keen light on the processes or equations--Tokaty is no help at all. The author's historical account, though vigorous and polemical, may be lacking in accuracy, e.g., he completely confuses the great thermodynamicist Sadi Carnot with his politician father!! So don't expect much beyond a colorful mix of key historical developments. Figures and photos are a plus.
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