Today is Ludwig Prandtl’s birthday

Ludiwg Prandtl was born in Friesing , Upper Bavaria on February 4th 1875. Why is he important? Here are just a few of his contributions to the field of fluid mechanics:

  • defined the concept of the boundary layer and explained its importance to drag, streamlining, and flow separation,
  • identified wing-tip effects and their degradation of performance,
  • developed the first theories of supersonic shock waves and Prandtl-Meyer expansion fans,
  • developed the first modern, closed-loop wind tunnel,
  • designed the supersonic nozzle used in all modern supersonic wind tunnels, and
  • came up with the Prandtl-Glauert correction for predicting compressibility corrections for airfoil performance prediction.

You might know a few of the 85 doctoral students he supervised as well: Adolf Busemann, Theodore von Kármán, Oskar Tietjens, Walter Tollmien and Hermann Schlichting.


  1. “100 Years of German Aerospace Research,” DLR
  2. “Ludwig Prandtl,” Wikipedia


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1 Response to Today is Ludwig Prandtl’s birthday

  1. Nick Wyman says:

    Blow out a birthday candtl?

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