A Tale of Two Subjects: Modern Physics and River Mechanics

by John F. Kennedy, Univ of Iowa, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Sediment Transport Modeling


The Einsteins, father and son, made some of the greatest contributions to physics and to river mechanics, respectively. The modern phases of these two subjects are of roughly equal age. However, when one compares the rates of progress in the two fields since their advents, the disparity is striking. The seemingly more difficult subject, modern physics, has advanced far more rapidly than river engineering. The underlying reasons are examined, and include the attraction physics holds for the greatest minds of every age; and their ability to conceive ingenuous models and mathematics to describe and analyze the phenomena they study.

Subject Headings: Rivers and streams | Fluid flow | Channel flow | Streamflow | River systems | Sediment transport | Mathematical models | Mathematics

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