Nonlinear Differential equations, Nonlinear Partial differential equations, fluid flow, homotopy


The solutions of nonlinear ordinary or partial differential equations are important in the study of fluid flow and heat transfer. In this thesis we apply the Homotopy Analysis Method (HAM) and obtain solutions for several fluid flow and heat transfer problems. In chapter 1, a brief introduction to the history of homotopies and embeddings, along with some examples, are given. The application of homotopies and an introduction to the solutions procedure of differential equations (used in the thesis) are provided. In the chapters that follow, we apply HAM to a variety of problems to highlight its use and versatility in solving a range of nonlinear problems arising in fluid flow. In chapter 2, a viscous fluid flow problem is considered to illustrate the application of HAM. In chapter 3, we explore the solution of a non-Newtonian fluid flow and provide a proof for the existence of solutions. In addition, chapter 3 sheds light on the versatility and the ease of the application of the Homotopy Analysis Method, and its capability in handling non-linearity (of rational powers). In chapter 4, we apply HAM to the case in which the fluid is flowing along stretching surfaces by taking into the effects of "slip" and suction or injection at the surface. In chapter 5 we apply HAM to a Magneto-hydrodynamic fluid (MHD) flow in two dimensions. Here we allow for the fluid to flow between two plates which are allowed to move together or apart. Also, by considering the effects of suction or injection at the surface, we investigate the effects of changes in the fluid density on the velocity field. Furthermore, the effect of the magnetic field is considered. Chapter 6 deals with MHD fluid flow over a sphere. This problem gave us the first opportunity to apply HAM to a coupled system of nonlinear differential equations. In chapter 7, we study the fluid flow between two infinite stretching disks. Here we solve a fourth order nonlinear ordinary differential equation. In chapter 8, we apply HAM to a nonlinear system of coupled partial differential equations known as the Drinfeld Sokolov equations and bring out the effects of the physical parameters on the traveling wave solutions. Finally, in chapter 9, we present prospects for future work.


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Graduation Date



Vajravelu, Kuppalapalle


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program









Release Date

February 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Mathematics Commons