When numerical methods are combined with fluid mechanics, you ultimately get Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD.) CFD has been a test of numerical methods for a long time, especially with the solution of the Navier-Stokes equations. The non-linear nature of these equations has made mating them with CFD a challenging problem.
When you’re first introduced to numerical methods you’re told that there are ways one can predict the stability and consistency of these methods with a given set of physics. These methods are helpful but things go wrong. On top of that coding these solutions into a language like C++ or Fortran for parallel processing (or any other computer application) is a challenging business; the endless parade of bugs we see exploited in internet security can be also seen in modelling physics such as fluid flow, just different bugs. Probably the most important lesson one learns in mastering such an art is that, just because it comes out of a computer, it can’t always be trusted.
That situation confronted a Turkish friend of mine who was working on a particularly sticky CFD coding problem. One frustrating day he exclaimed, “I need to find the way,” i.e., out of his CFD coding problem.
Finding the way has been a key issue in the Middle East for a long time. The last night before he was crucified, Jesus Christ had this exchange with his disciples:
“We do not know where you are going, Master,” said Thomas; “so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one ever comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:5-6 TCNT)
This, then, is a key difference between Jesus Christ and the others. They knew (or they thought they knew) the way, or they have an idea of what the way is. But Jesus Christ is the way, something he showed when he rose from the dead shortly thereafter.
My Turkish friend was doubly blessed; not only did he find the solution to his CFD problem, but he also found the way in Jesus Christ, and has been baptised. You can see a video of another Turk who found the way here.
And for the rest of us…