Leading academic publishers CRC Press (Taylor & Francis Group) have published an advanced undergraduate textbook by a Bath Astrophysicist, available since January 2024. The textbook, Introduction to Fluid Dynamics in Physics and Astrophysics, was written by Dr Hendrik van Eerten, Reader in the Physics Department.

Together with colleagues in astrophysics, Dr Van Eerten has been responsible for developing the curriculum for the Bath course Physics with Astrophysics, which has been on offer to students entering the university from academic year 2015/2016 and onwards. As part of their commitment to provide quality teaching content for students electing to pursue their studies in physics and astrophysics at the University of Bath, Dr Van Eerten and colleagues developed extensive lecture notes for a range of topics in astrophysics, from the large-scale cosmology of the universe to the explosive fate of individual stars. The study of these subjects combines many areas in physics, including plasma physics, kinetic theory, and radiation physics.

Among the new subjects that were added over the past years are Fluid Dynamics in Physics and Astrophysics and Computational Astrophysics. The textbook expands upon Dr Van Eerten’s lecture notes for these year-three units, providing a self-contained introduction to the topic suitable for class, self-study, and further exploration beyond the scope of the lectures.

While many textbooks exist on fluid dynamics, textbooks on astrophysical fluid dynamics are less common and typically aimed at graduate level. What further sets the book apart are topical discussions of fluid dynamics in special relativity and a practical guide to computational fluid dynamics, drawing from the author’s own research. These stand alongside the core elements of fluid dynamics theory, including conservation laws, shocks and sound waves, turbulence and fluid instabilities, viscosity, and fluid flow kinematics. Finally, the book includes various applications to astrophysics, such as particle shock-acceleration, the photon gas, accretion flow onto black holes and stellar structure theory. A repository has been made available on-line, containing extensively annotated open-source code in C and Python for students to experiment with.