Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Maths and physics for anaesthetists : laminar and turbulent flow.

Hill, D. W.
  • Videos
  • Online

Available online

Download options


Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
You can use this work for any purpose, as long as it is not primarily intended for or directed to commercial advantage or monetary compensation. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) terms and conditions
Credit: Maths and physics for anaesthetists : laminar and turbulent flow. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

About this work


In the first of two lectures, Reader in Medical Physics, Dr DW Hill, making use of a large array of animated diagrams, talks about the combination of maths and physics which control how anaesthesia affects the human body. The two lectures provide a highly detailed, although technical look at the mechanics of respiration and blood flow - this part focuses on two types of blood flow: laminar and turbulent. For those not well-versed in medical physics, the many illustrations and the clear explanation of the subject make this lecture quite accessible.


London : University of London Audio-Visual Centre, 1976.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (28.29 min.) : sound, black and white




Copyright note

University of London

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Presented by DW Hill, Reader in Medical Physics. Produced by David R Clark and Michael Tomlinson. Film extract provided by courtesy of Dr JT Wright, Bio-engineering and Medical Physics Unit, University of Liverpool. Made for British Postgraduate Medical Federation. Made by University of London, Audio-Visual Centre.


This video is one of around 310 titles, originally broadcast on Channel 7 of the ILEA closed-circuit television network, given to Wellcome Trust from the University of London Audio-Visual Centre shortly after it closed in the late 1980s. Although some of these programmes might now seem rather out-dated, they probably represent the largest and most diversified body of medical video produced in any British university at this time, and give a comprehensive and fascinating view of the state of medical and surgical research and practice in the 1970s and 1980s, thus constituting a contemporary medical-historical archive of great interest. The lectures mostly take place in a small and intimate studio setting and are often face-to-face. The lecturers use a wide variety of resources to illustrate their points, including film clips, slides, graphs, animated diagrams, charts and tables as well as 3-dimensional models and display boards with movable pieces. Some of the lecturers are telegenic while some are clearly less comfortable about being recorded; all are experts in their field and show great enthusiasm to share both the latest research and the historical context of their specialist areas.


Segment 1 Hill talks to camera and introduces the subject. He shows a film which visualises blood flow through a heart valve, he points out how complicated the flow patterns are, and in particular the areas of turbulent flow. A further film is shown which compares fluid and electrical flow patterns, then the flow patterns of different types of liquid. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:04:54:00 Length: 00:04:54:00
Segment 2 Hill shows an animated model demonstrating flow patterns through a series of layers of molecules, as might happen in a blood vessel. To explain this further, he then shows an animated model looking at how a fluid flows down a pipe - he describes the various patterns of flow in depth. Hill then introduces the concept of Newton's law of viscous flow and applies it to his animated model. He points out that Newton's law applies only to laminar or streamline flow with a fluid of constant viscosity. Next Hill talks about the Hagen-Poiseuille equation which helps to calculate volume flow rates down tubes - Hill applies this to a variety of endotracheal tubes used in surgery. Time start: 00:04:54:00 Time end: 00:11:20:00 Length: 00:06:26:00
Segment 3 We are shown a film of a pneumotachograph, a device for measuring the volume flow rage of gasses; these are widely used in respiratory and lung function studies. Hill shows an animated model of the progression of different velocity molecules down a pipe, then refers to graphs comparing turbulent and laminar flow. Time start: 00:11:20:00 Time end: 00:16:26:00 Length: 00:05:06:00
Segment 4 Hill shows 5 pairs of illustrations showing different flow patterns taken from water flowing through a 2cm long glass tube with dye injected halfway along. He describes how the different rates of dye injection (either continuous or sporadic at varying intervals) show up the different patterns of flow rate. He then applies these to the practice of anaesthesia, for instance, by looking at how areas of athersclerosis in an artery can change the patterns of blood flow. Time start: 00:16:26:00 Time end: 00:20:14:00 Length: 00:03:48:00
Segment 5 Hill describes how blood, which is of non-Newtonian viscosity, must be understood differently in order to help patients, particularly those in intensive care where the balance between blood flow and blood viscosity must be carefully achieved. A short film showing the viscosity of Dulux gloss paint is shown to demonstrate how working it with a brush can change it from barely fluid to relatively flowing. Time start: 00:20:14:00 Time end: 00:25:52:15 Length: 00:05:38:15
Segment 6 Hill summarises the lecture, referring back to earlier films, graphs and diagrams. He describes again the streamline flow pattern, the Hagen-Poiseuille equation and Newton's law of viscosity. Finally he provides a list of publications for further study into the subject. Time start: 00:25:52:15 Time end: 00:28:29:02 Length: 00:02:36:12


  • English

Permanent link