Taylor's 1923 Paper in the Philosophical Transactions -- A Centennial Retrospective

  • Lueptow, Richard (Northwestern University)
  • Hollerbach, Rainer (University of Leeds)
  • Serre, Eric (Aix Marseille University)

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The 22nd International Couette-Taylor Workshop coincides with the centennial of the publication of Taylor's pioneering paper, which provides the basis for nearly all of the research presented at this conference. Too often, though, it is easy to overlook the details of this paper, which is not only foundational to the theory of hydrodynamic stability theory but so much more. The paper is considered by many as establishing the fundamental correctness of the Navier–Stokes equations and the no-slip boundary condition, which are the underlying concepts at the foundation of modern fluid mechanics. This and other notable aspects of Taylor's seminal paper will be covered including the motivation behind studying cylindrical Couette flow to understand stability, Taylor's remarkable experimental apparatus and meticulous experiments, his extraordinary insights into future research on what we now call Taylor-Couette flow, and even Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman's summary of the "lesson" learned from Taylor's stability analysis.