Article ID: CBB946046403

George Keith Batchelor's Interaction with Chinese Fluid Dynamicists and Inspirational Influence: A Historical Perspective (2020)


George Keith Batchelor (1920–2000, FRS 1957) was a towering figure in the twentieth century international fluid mechanics community. Much has been written about him since his death. This article presents an account of Batchelor's early interactions and relationships with Chinese fluid dynamicists and his continuing inspirational influence on them, which have not yet been documented in English. The theory of homogeneous turbulence, to which Batchelor contributed greatly, has had both indirect and direct inspirational influence on generations of Chinese fluid dynamicists, as they have sought to make their own contributions. Batchelor made visits to China in 1980 and 1983. His first ice-breaking trip to China in April 1980 is of special importance to Sino-British fluid mechanics and to China, even though Batchelor did not speak about turbulence but instead about his more recent research interest, microhydrodynamics. Batchelor's philosophical view of applied mathematics (fluid mechanics)—that ‘You have got to inject some physical thinking as well as mathematical thinking’—has had great inspirational influence on generations of fluid dynamicists in the UK, in China, and around the world. Batchelor's generosity of spirit and frugality of habit is warmly remembered by his students and Chinese friends. The author presents details of Batchelor's interaction with Chinese fluid dynamicists in the 1980s within the general context of the scientific relationship between China and the UK.

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Authors & Contributors
Eckert, Michael
Zhang, Jiuchen
Graber, Frédéric
Horrocks, Sally M.
Zhang, Daqing
Chen, Xiaoke
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Revue d'Histoire des Mathématiques
British Journal for the History of Science
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA History Division
Imperial College Press
MIT Press
International cooperation
Fluid mechanics
Cross-national interaction
Euler, Leonhard
Navier, Claude Louis Marie Henri
Prandtl, Ludwig
Kármán, Theodor von
Lighthill, M. James
Perry, Anthony Edward
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century, early
20th century
21st century
18th century
19th century
United States
Great Britain
Soviet Union
Royal Botanical Society, London
International Biological Program
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Royal Society of London

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