20.5.1890 Mittwaida/D - 18.11.1980 Gainesville FL/USA
Karl Pohlhausen was educated as a mathematician at the Universities of Jena and Göttingen, there being attached to Ludwig Prandtl (1875-1953). In 1919, Pohlhausen submitted his PhD thesis on the experimental verification of the boundary layer theory. He joined in 1920 Theodor von Karman (1881-1963), who had just been appointed professor at Aachen University: The two produced famous work on boundary layers. Pohlhausen joined in 1922 the Siemens-Schuckert works in Berlin where he replaced Fritz Noether (1884-1941). Pohlhausen there became chief electrician but left Germany in 1946 for the USA. During the following twenty years he was with the Office of Air Research, the Flight Research Laboratory, and the Aeronautical Research Laboratory at Wright Field, and served also as one of the PL-313 scientists of the US Air Force. A memorial seminar was held at the University of Florida in 1981 to commemorate the contributions of Pohlhausen in fluid mechanics and electrodynamics.
Pohlhausen's reputation as a legendary figure in fluid mechanics is based on his 1921 article in volume 1 of Zeitschrift für Angewandte Mathematik und Mechanik ZAMM. This paper contains so many important results that it is virtually impossible to write a book on fluid mechanics without the use of its results. It includes the first proof that the Prandtl boundary layer equations are asymptotic forms of the Navier-Stokes equations for large Reynolds numbers; it demonstrates that the von Karman momentum equation can be derived from the boundary layer equation by a simple integration; it introduces the smoothing conditions at the outer edge of boundary layers; and it points to the differences between the inner and the outer boundary layers. In the 1950s Pohlhausen worked on heat convection in fluids, in collaboration with Millsaps.
Millsaps, K., Pohlhausen, K. (1952). Heat transfer by laminar flow from a rotating plate. Journal of Aeronautical Sciences 19(2): 120-126.
Millsaps, K., Pohlhausen, K. (1958). The laminar free-convective heat transfer from the outer surface of a vertical circular cylinder. Journal Aeronautical Sciences 25(6): 357-360.
Millsaps, K. (1984). Karl Pohlhausen. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics 16:1-10. P
Pohlhausen, K. (1921). Zur näherungsweisen Integration der Differentialgleichung der laminaren Grenzschicht. ZAMM 1(4): 252-268.
Pohlhausen, K., Millsaps, K. (1975). A mathematical model for glucose-insulin interactions. Mathematical Bioscience 23: 237-251.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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