On the origins of Lagrangian hydrodynamic methods

10 Mar 2021  ·  N. R. Morgan, B. J. Archer ·

The intent of this paper is to discuss the history and origins of Lagrangian hydrodynamic methods for simulating shock driven flows. The majority of the pioneering research occurred within the Manhattan Project... A range of Lagrangian hydrodynamic schemes were created between 1943 and 1948 by John von Neumann, Rudolf Peierls, Tony Skyrme, and Robert Richtmyer. These schemes varied significantly from each other; however, they all used a staggered-grid and finite difference approximations of the derivatives in the governing equations, where the first scheme was by von Neumann. These ground-breaking schemes were principally published in Los Alamos laboratory reports that were eventually declassified many decades after authorship, which motivates us to document the work and describe the accompanying history in a paper that is accessible to the broader scientific community. Furthermore, we seek to correct historical omissions on the pivotal contributions made by Peierls and Skyrme to creating robust Lagrangian hydrodynamic methods for simulating shock driven flows. Understanding the history of Lagrangian hydrodynamic methods can help explain the origins of many modern schemes and may inspire the pursuit of new schemes. read more

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History and Philosophy of Physics Fluid Dynamics Physics and Society