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Study of the effects of forces and energy on liquids and gases. One branch of the field, hydrostatics, deals with fluids at rest; the other, fluid dynamics, deals with fluids in motion and with the motion of bodies through fluids. Liquids and gases are both treated as fluids because they often have the same equations of motion and exhibit the same flow phenomena. The subject has numerous applications in fields varying from aeronautics and marine engineering to the study of blood flow and the dynamics of swimming.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on fluid mechanics, visit Britannica.com.