26.7.1935 Slough/UK - 24.4.1998 Austin TX/USA
David John Tritton in 1956 earned his BA in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge. After having done a PhD there under the guidance of Albert Alan Townsend (1917-) on flow past cylinders and free convection, Tritton carried out from 1960 post-doctoral research at the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. He was a Lecturer at the Physics Department of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne from 1963; Tritton strengthened the role of fluid dynamics, and he built up there a productive group that conducted laboratory experiments on a variety of related problems, including convection, rotating flows, stratified flows and turbulence. Tritton thereby established fluid dynamics as a key component of the under-graduate physics curriculum, a characteristic shared by few other British universities.
Tritton based his internationally famous Physical Fluid Dynamics on the distinctive under-graduate course he developed in Newcastle. The book remains unsurpassed in its presentation of the subject from a physicist's point of view. With its many illustrative examples from laboratory experiments, simple and clear arguments, and a bare minimum of carefully chosen mathematical analyses, the book appears not only unique, but also a favorite of the many students and researchers who have bought or borrowed it. In the early 1990s, after the decline had started at his Institute in Newcastle, Tritton worked on rotating boundary currents at L'Institut de Mecanique of Grenoble University in France. In 1993, he withdrew from professional activities following the illness of his wife. After her death, he moved in 1998 to the University of Texas, to work on aspects of Couette flow, but shortly later also passed away of coronary artery disease. He had been a genuinely interested fluid dynamicist who had shed light on problems that were wholly new to him.
Swinney, H.L., Davies, P.A. (1999). David John Tritton. Physics Today 52(4): 82. P
Tritton, D.J. (1977). Physical fluid dynamics. Van Nostrand Reinhold: New York, 2nd ed. in 1988 by University Press: Oxford. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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