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Dimensional Analysis for Geotechnical Engineers

R. Butterfield
Journal / Anthology

Year: 1999
Volume: 49
Issue: 3
Page range: 357-366

Dimensional analysis is an important tool for engineers, aiding the design of experiments and concise expression of the results generated by them. The dimensionless groups, which are the output of a successful dimensional analysis, are usually developed via Buckingham's 'Pi' theorem. Because this alone is necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a solution, difficulties are frequently encountered. This paper presents a general, dimensional analysis algorithm which imposes both necessary and sufficient conditions. Illustrative problems are included, together with a Mathematica program which generates all possible sets of admissible dimensionless groups for a specific problem.

*Science > Geology and Geophysics